In an effort to make the roads of Ohio a safer place, a new drunk driving law was recently passed by the Ohio legislature. This new law creates several new additions to the OVI/OMWI regulations in that state. OVI stands for Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated and OMWI stands for Operating A Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence. The new law includes earlier court ordered treatment programs, use of ankle bracelets for offenders who break their drunk driving parole, and the use of an interlock system which requires offenders to blow into to prove they have not consumed alcohol before a car’s engine will start. Additionally, the new law will require that anyone with over two OVI/OMVI convictions cannot refuse a blood or urine test if they have been pulled over in suspension of drunk driving.
Furthermore, the new law goes on to require the implementation of a searchable online offender registry by the end of 2008. This online registry, to be called Ohio’s Habitual OVI/OMWI Offenders Registry will be a searchable database of those with five or more OVI/OMWI convictions. Available information will include the offenders name, date of birth, address, number of times the offender has been convicted of a OVI/OMWI within 20 years, and the dates of the OVI/OMVI violations and will be searchable by name, zip code, or county. This database will be run an Ohio administrative agency called the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The Ohio court that heard the case submits the OVI/OMVI conviction.
While some may claim that this law creates privacy concerns, it could also be seen as a proactive step in address a major problem in our nation. Especially, with the implementation of an online database it creates a level of transparency, and embarrassment for the repeat offenders, which could hopefully lead to fewer offenses. Would you really want your neighbors, friends, or employers viewing an embarrassing history of 5+ drunk driving convictions? Drunk driving offenses claim thousands of lives and injure thousands more every year, so perhaps finding a solution will require creative problem solving. Other states, such as Delaware have taken an approach similar to Ohio’s database. Although it is not searchable, Delaware does post the names of multiple drunk driving offenders on their site. By clicking on a name, you can view the drunk driving judgment entered against that person.
Although most states do not have databases specific to drunk driving offenses, you can still find out if someone has a DUI record. DUIs are considered crimes, and are therefore found in whichever court handles criminal cases. Thus, a search through a court’s criminal records could lead to information related to someone’s DUI records. Also, driving records contain a person’s driving history, including information about DUIs. To locate DUI laws, criminal records, driving records, or other DUI information, visit Courtreference.com. This site is a one-stop-shop for court records where you can search by state, county, and record type. There is also information that describes which types of cases you can find in which courts.