Can You Be Arrested for Drunk Driving On Your Own Property?

Many people would be surprised to learn that, in Ohio, one can be charged with drunk driving (OVI) even if they were not on a public roadway.  Unlike most traffic offenses, which require operation of a vehicle on a public roadway or in an area open to the public, OVI has no such limitation.  Rather, an OVI can be committed “anywhere in the state.”  There is no distinction between public and private property under Ohio’s drunk driving law.

This means that OVI arrest or any DUI arrests can happen regardless of whether a person is driving on a public street, private parking lot, or even their own backyard at the time they were operating a vehicle.

However, there is an exception – bicycles.  In a previous post I explained the definition of “vehicle,” which specifically includes bicycles.  A person can be charged with OVI for riding a bicycle, but only if the bicycle is being operated “upon a highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.”

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in Columbus and want to speak to a Knowledgeable OVI Lawyer, call (614) 454-5010.

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