What If I Didn’t Know I Was Over The Legal Limit?

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Strict Liability Laws And Culpable Mental State While Drinking

Most criminal offenses require a culpable mental state, such as purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently, or some degree of intent.  However, there are some offenses that are “strict liability” offenses.  A strict liability offense does not require intent or any culpable mental state.  Rather, to be guilty of a strict liability offense one must simply act in a prohibited manner.  Under Ohio strict liability laws, DUI is considered as one of the  strict liability crimes.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t realize that your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit or that you did not intend to drive impaired.  The question is whether you were in fact over the legal limit or impaired when you operated a vehicle.  So, whether you were just a naïve college student who didn’t know how a little alcohol would affect you, or whether you drink regularly and have a “high tolerance” for alcohol, if you’re over the legal limit or impaired and you operated a vehicle you can be charged and prosecuted for DUI.

This doesn’t mean that just because you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI that you don’t have a defense.  If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, contact our expert team of Columbus DUI defense attorneys by calling (614) 547-5757 to discuss your options.