An OVI in Ohio for Breastfeeding Baby While Driving Drunk

nursing leads to OVI in OhioIt’s like a trifecta of bad decisions leading to OVI in Ohio: driving drunk, endangering a child, and driving while distracted. Add to that the fact that breastfeeding while drinking alcohol is, according to experts, a bad idea, and we can conclude that the woman from Elyria was spared some heartache because she only crashed into a tree.

The important thing here is not the offender’s motivations, but what to do about offenses like these.  Let’s take the fact that the baby was in a car, not properly secured in a seat. Ohio law prohibits drivers from posing a “substantial risk to the health or safety of the child by violating a duty of care, protection or support.”

A first OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) with child endangerment automatically becomes a second OVI in Ohio, leading to harsher punishment and longer sentencing.

Ignition Interlocks for OVI in Ohio

Ignition interlocks were made for cases like these.  Back in April Annie’s Law took effect. Named for Annie Rooney, a Chillicothe attorney who was struck down by a drunk driver, Annie’s law gave all drunk drivers, including first offenders, access to ignition interlock devices. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

The rationale for ignition interlock technology is the fact that a certain percentage of drunk drivers repeat their crime.  Even if they don’t intend to – and swear not to – these offenders start to drink, and lose their resolve. Their inability to keep from behind the wheel is the reason that the US loses more than ten thousand people to drunk driving each year.

Ohio’s ignition interlock laws have improved, but they still have a way to go. Offenders like the woman in question should not only have the interlock, but should be faced with compliance-based removal – the device should be removed after the interlock term is up only if the offender has passed a set number of months – say four – without a failed test. Interlocks work both by preventing drunk drivers from starting their cars, and also by helping OVI offenders alter their behavior and learn to drive responsibly.

Ignition interlock laws, properly written and enforced, keep pedestrians, drivers – and their young passengers – safe.