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Car chase leads to drunk driving charges

In an incident that took place on Aug. 1, 2015, in North Ridgeville, Ohio, a 39-year-old man led police on a small chase after an officer saw the man's vehicle and suspected drunk driving. The man's car was spotted at around 2:00 a.m. near the intersection of Chestnut Ridge and Lear Nagle roads in an off-limits construction zone.

The driver sped away when an officer attempted to pull him over, which led to a three-minute chase that ended in Westlake on Center Ridge Road when the driver crashed into a front lawn after he lost control of his vehicle. He reportedly ran into lawn ornaments, a mailbox and a tree.

The man suspected of driving while under the influence refused a breath test and was taken to St. John Medical Center in Westlake and later released after being treated for minor injuries. He faces charges for drunk driving, driving on a closed highway, fleeing police and reckless operation in Elyria Municipal Court, and the man pleaded not guilty to these charges.

Even a first conviction for DUI can come with serious consequences like time in jail or fines, but this is especially true when refusing a breath test. One could face an automatic license suspension even if he or she was sober when being asked to submit to breath testing. This is because motorists give implied consent to breath testing when receiving a license. One might need an attorney to fight a license suspension and any charges when accused of impaired driving.

A breath test is only one method law enforcement authorities use when trying to identify drunk drivers, and officers must already have a reason for stopping someone when pulling a driver over whether there is a checkpoint, a vehicle was speeding or someone was driving erratically. If an officer did not have cause to stop someone, a case might be dismissed.

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