The OVI/DUI laws in Ohio are very strict, and the penalties are severe. In addition, a person who is convicted of an OVI offense will likely face a steep increase in car insurance rates. Finally, in Ohio, an OVI offense becomes part of a person’s permanent record – it can never be expunged or sealed. So what are the most important things to remember if you are stopped for an OVI offense? First, when being stopped by an officer, make sure to promptly and safely pull your car over to the berm, or to the side of the road. Don’t try to out-run the officer or flee – it never works, and you may end up being charged with a felony offense. Don’t make things worse by driving erratically. When the officer comes to your door, simply identify yourself and provide your license – then stop talking. You don’t need to answer whether you have been drinking, where you are coming from, or where you are heading to. You can politely decline to answer those questions which are designed to get you talking and incriminating yourself. If you have been drinking or smoking, you are probably not going to be able to talk your way out of things anyway. People make this mistake all the time – just stop chattering. Second, promptly exit your car, if requested to do so by the officer. Don’t make the mistake of having the officer forcefully remove you from your car – because they will. This always looks bad. So exit your car, but don’t do any roadside field sobriety tests. These tests simply set you up for failure. Instead, politely decline to do them. If you have a legitimate physical limitation, like leg, back or balance problems, then tell the officer that. Otherwise, simply remain quiet and composed. Third, when the police officer offers a chemical test – a breath, a blood or a urine test, it is almost always a good idea to politely decline the test. Unless you really only had just one drink, taking the test will only give the police more incriminating evidence. Make no mistake about it, the officer will really want you to take their test. Street smarts alone tell us, that if the officer really wants you to take the test, then maybe you should do the exact opposite. Once again if you have a legitimate physical limitation, like asthma or lung problems, then tell the officer that. Please understand that these tips may not get you out of being cited for an OVI, but they will certainly help your lawyer defend you in court.