40-Percent of OVI Suspects Not Convicted

Statistics reported by the Ohio Supreme Court statistics show that across the state of Ohio, four of every 10 people who are cited for driving impaired do not get convicted of the charge. This amounts to 23,000 motorists who have driven under the influence, were pulled over by a cop and cited, but did not receive the OVI conviction.

One 36-year-old woman, Annie Rooney, felt very strongly about helping victims of alcohol abuse. She then lost her life when a habitual traffic offender collided with her on July 4, 2013. The driver, Shira B. Seymour, was in seven accidents in the past 13 years. Seymour accumulated 16 convictions, including everything from seat belt violations to operating under the influence. When she struck Rooney, Seymour’s blood-alcohol limit was nearly double the legal limit.

In Ohio, Ross County has been reported to have the lowest conviction rate with only 11.2% of drunk drivers being convicted with the charge. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Marion County has the highest rate of conviction, with 79.3% of offenders being charged.

With such a differing percentage of conviction, the variability of a drunken drivers being incarcerated is not consistent. Drivers are often able to get charges reduced or dismissed, even if alcohol is a factor. A review of OVI cases that was filed in March 2013 showed the differences in how the courts across he sate handle impaired driving cases.

Chillicothe Law Director Sherri Rutherford said every OVI case will not result in a conviction because there are problems with evidence and human error also plays a role. She did however express that she is satisfied with the job that her office does in the prosecution of drunk drivers.  

While there is clearly a lack of consistency throughout the state in regards to conviction, our office’s goal is to do our best in promoting safety to drivers and share the dangers of operating a vehicle under the influence. We believe that by helping to spread awareness, we can prevent future accidents from occurring and save countless lives in the process.

If you or someone you love has been in an accident with an impaired driver and suffered serious injury or death, please call our Ohio car accident attorneys at 800.637.8170. Our attorneys can answer any questions you may have and give a free case evaluation over the phone. 

Charles Boyk
is a personal injury attorney and author practicing law in Ohio. 419-241-1395
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