Preparing for the July 4th Weekend


As you and your family celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, the Tyack Law Firm would like to give you some friendly reminders on how to stay safe and celebrate responsibly.

Underage Drinking

According to Section 4301.69 of the Ohio Revised Code, no person shall sell beer or intoxicating liquor to an underage person, shall buy beer or intoxicating liquor for an underage person, or shall furnish to an underage person, unless given by a physician in the regular line of the physician's practice or given for established religious purposes or unless the underage person is supervised by a parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian.

A common assumption is that an underage minor can drink under the supervision of friends’ parents. However, this is not the case. The parents, legal guardian, or spouse who is not a minor must always be present with the minor while beer or intoxicating liquor is consumed. And of course, for offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol, it is not a defense to be with a parent or legal guardian.

A person under 21 years of age caught drinking and driving, even in the presence of a parent or legal guardian, is subject to certain penalties. Drivers consuming beer or intoxicating liquor under the age of 21 can be convicted of an underage OVI also known as OVUAC or operating a vehicle after underage alcohol consumption. A person under 21 years of age can be convicted of OVUAC if their BAC is found to be at least 0.02 even though the level is less than 0.08. An underage person who has a BAC of higher than 0.08 may also be charged with OVI, and face even stricter penalties than those required by an OVUAC conviction.

Police Checkpoints

A DUI checkpoint, also known as a sobriety checkpoint or roadblock, is a specific location on a roadway where law enforcement officers stop vehicles to check for signs of impaired driving. These checkpoints are typically set up in areas with a history of drunk driving incidents or during times when impaired driving is more prevalent, such as holidays or weekends.

In Ohio, the requirements for sobriety checkpoints are outlined by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Revised Code. Here are some general guidelines and requirements for sobriety checkpoints in Ohio:

  1. Planning and Notification
  2. Supervision and Administration
  3. Neutral and Objective Criteria
  4. Visibility and Signage
  5. Safety Measures
  6. Minimal Intrusion

The primary objective of DUI checkpoints is to identify drivers who may be operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The police officers stationed at these checkpoints systematically stop vehicles at predetermined intervals or using a randomized pattern. They then interact with the drivers, observing their behavior and looking for signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the odor of alcohol.

If an officer suspects a driver to be under the influence, they may ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. Additionally, breathalyzer tests may be administered to measure the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.

Overall, DUI checkpoints serve as a proactive measure to discourage and detect drunk driving, contributing to public safety by identifying and removing impaired drivers from the roads. Even so, the police must follow certain protocols, and take steps to protect the rights of all who pass through the checkpoint.

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