In most instances a motorist has the right to refuse to submit to a chemical test of his breath, blood or urine after an OVI arrest. The penalty for refusal is the immediate loss of the motorist’s license and a longer period of suspension. In some instances, however, law enforcement officers are permitted to forcefully take blood from the motorist if they can obtain a warrant for the removal of the blood. This warrant must be supported by an affidavit, stating the basis for the search and the warrant must be signed by a judge. The blood must be drawn within three (3) hours after the motorist operated the vehicle for the results to be admissible.
Further, the Ohio Revised Code now authorizes law enforcement officers to forcefully take blood by whatever means are necessary if the motorist is being arrested on a third or greater OVI offense within the last six (6) years. In this instance, the officer is not required to obtain a warrant and is immune from civil and criminal liability unless the officer acts maliciously in taking the blood.