An Ohio Court of Appeals has ruled that a person charged with Operating under the Influence “OVI” who agrees to submit to a urine test, but cannot produce a sample, should not face an automatic license suspension.
The case is State v. Brown, 2013-Ohio-4981.
The defendant was arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse. He agreed to take a breath test; the result of the test indicated that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.000. The police – apparently – suspected drug abuse so they requested that the defendant agree to submit to a urine test. He agreed. However, despite drinking several glasses of water, he was unable to produce a sample.
The police considered this a refusal and, as is required by Ohio law, seized his license and imposed an administrative license suspension.
At a hearing, the police officer testified that the defendant “was not refusing the urine specimen” but “simply could not provide it.” The officer said:
[the defendant consumed quite a bit of water . . . I don't know how he couldn't. I mean, it was very apparent to me that he was trying but just could not produce.