If you have been charged with a first offense DUI / OVI in Dublin, Ohio, your case will likely be filed in the Dublin Mayor’s Court.  When faced with a DUI charge in Dublin, contacting an experienced attorney practicing in the Dublin Mayor’s Court is essential.  

At Riddell Law, we have extensive experience representing clients faced with DUI / OVI charges in jury trials, bench trials and motion hearings.  As experienced attorneys serving Dublin, Ohio, we represent clients facing drunk driving charges throughout Central Ohio, including in the Dublin Mayor’s Court.


The Dublin Mayor’s Court hears DUI, traffic cases and other misdemeanor charges that occur in Dublin, Ohio.  In Dublin, your case will be heard by a magistrate appointed by the mayor.

dublin mayor's court building

Ohio Mayor’s Courts, including the Dublin Mayor’s Court, are not courts of record and are not authorized to conduct jury trials.  However, if a defendant charged with a DUI or criminal offense in Dublin would like a jury to hear his or her case, then your attorney can assist you with transferring the case to the Franklin County Municipal Court.  

In fact, a defendant can opt to transfer his or her case to the Franklin County Municipal Court at any time for any reason.  Further, if a defendant is convicted in the Dublin Mayor’s Court, he or she may appeal their conviction to the Franklin County Municipal Court within a certain time period.

There are both pros and cons to having your case heard in the the Dublin Mayor’s Court, depending on your specific situation.  Consulting with an experienced Dublin OVI / DUI defense attorney on this issue is critical to ensure the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case.


DUI charges in Dublin can be charged under either the Ohio statute (the Ohio Revised Code) or the local Dublin City Ordinance.  The local Dublin DUI/ OVI ordinances largely mirror the the Ohio OVI statutes.

  • Dublin Mayors’ Court DUI / OVI  Code – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (Dublin City Code 73.01)

The Dublin OVI / DUI City Code states that:

No person shall operate any vehicle within this municipality, if, at the time of the operation, any of the following apply: 

  1. The person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.
  2. The person has a blood alcohol level (BAC) or breath alcohol level over .08.
  3. The person has a prohibited level of amphetamine, cocaine metabolite, heroin, L.S.D., marijuana or other specified controlled substances in their urine or blood.
  • Dublin Second Offense OVI – Prior Refusal of Breath or Chemical Test

If the driver has a prior OVI conviction within the past 20 years, the Dublin City Code prohibits refusing a breath or chemical test in a subsequent case.

  • Dublin Mayor’s Court Underage OVI – OVUAC – Operating a Vehicle After Underage Consumption – Penalties
The Dublin Mayor’s Court City Code prohibits anyone under 21 years of age from operating a vehicle in Dublin if the underage driver has a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level (BAC) over .02.
If you are convicted of a first time OVUAC in the Dublin Mayor’s Court, the potential penalties under the Dublin City Code include:
  1. 90 day license suspension (minimum) with no driving privileges for 60 days;
  2. Must retest to get license back;
  3. Required remedial driving class;
  4. Required SR-22 insurance bond at BMV;
  5. Up to $250 fine;
  6. Possible jail time up to 30 days.


There are a number of potential defenses to a DUI / OVI charge in the Dublin Mayor’s Court.
  • Did the police officer pull you over for a constitutionally valid reason?

One of the first things our attorneys look for in Dublin OVI cases for is whether the initial stop by the police violated in any way our client’s constitutional right to be free of unlawful search or seizure.  

In every Dublin DUI case, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that that the driver committed a traffic or criminal offense.  A marked lanes violation, speeding or other traffic violation is the most commonly cited reason.  

Note that the police are not allowed to pull you over just because they think you look suspicious.  They have to be able to point to specific facts indicating that you have committed a traffic or criminal offense.  If they can’t, then anything that happened once they stopped you is inadmissible (e.g. field sobriety test results or breathalyzer results).

  • Was the blood, breath, urine or other test performed within three hours of the alleged violation?  

Dublin City Code Section 73.01(D)(1) specifically provides that the results of a blood, breath, urine or other chemical test are inadmissible in court unless they are drawn or collected within three house of the time of the alleged violation.  If the wait time is longer, the test results cannot be used in court.

Under the Ohio Code – R.C. 4511.192 – a driver has two hours to decide whether to submit to a chemical test (breath, urine, etc).  If the person doesn’t submit to a test within two hours, they are marked as a “refusal”.

The three hour time limit applies even if the person takes two hours to decide whether or not to submit to a chemical test.

  • Were the field sobriety tests administered and instructed according to the standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
If an officer asks a driver to perform field sobriety tests, the instructions and administration of those tests must conform to specific rules set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If the officer does not properly instruct or demonstrate the tests, the tests and results could be thrown out of court.  (Dublin City Code Section 73.01 (D)(4)(b))
Attorney Douglas Riddell is certified in the Approved Curriculum for DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Practitioner Course designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  This is the same training required of police officers to conduct roadside field sobriety testing.
  • If a blood test was done, was it performed properly?

There is a long list of specific steps that must be followed when taking a blood sample from a suspected OVI offender.  For example, under Dublin City Code Section 73.01(D)(1),  only “a physician, a registered nurse, or a qualified technician, chemist, or phlebotomist” may draw the driver’s blood.  The blood then must be analyzed under very specific rules by a certified individual under R.C. § 3701.143.

You also have the right to have your own independent blood test performed in addition to the test done at the request of law enforcement.  This second test, however, is at your own expense.

Further, the lab report analyzing the blood or urine test must contain very specific information set forth under Dublin City Code Section 73.01(E).  The lab report must include information such as:

(a) The signature, under oath, of any person who performed the analysis;

(b) Any findings as to the identity and quantity of alcohol, a drug of abuse, a controlled substance, a metabolite of a controlled substance, or a combination of them that was found;

(c)   A copy of a notarized statement by the laboratory director of a designee of the director that contains the name of each certified analyst or test performer involved with the report, the analyst’s or test performer’s employment relationship with the laboratory that issued the report, and a notation that performing an analysis of the type involved is part of the analyst’s or test performer’s regular duties;
(d)   An outline of the analyst’s or test performer’s education, training, and experience in performing the type of analysis involved and a certification that the laboratory satisfies appropriate quality control standards in general and, in this particular analysis, under rules of the Department of Health.


The potential penalties for a first time DUI / OVI conviction in the Dublin Mayor’s Court are the same as the potential penalties in other courts across Ohio.  See here for a full list of the potential penalties for a first time Ohio DUI conviction.



 If you have been charged with an OVI / DUI in the Dublin Mayor’s Court, your license is likely suspended immediately.  If you failed a breath alcohol test, you are under an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) for 90 days.  If you refused to submit a breath or other chemical test, you will face a one-year ALS suspension.
However, the Dublin City Code specifically allows that you may be eligible for limited driving privileges for work or school during this suspension period.  Alternatively, it may be possible to obtain a “stay” of the Administrative License Suspension, which would allow you to drive right away.
Talk to our Dublin DUI Attorneys if you have any questions about whether you are eligible for driving privileges, what those driving privileges can include and what the ALS suspension means in your case.



In the video below, Attorney Douglas Riddell discusses what you can expect if you are facing an OVI or other criminal or traffic charge in the Dublin Mayor’s Court. 

 To begin the process and discuss representation for your Dublin, Ohio DUI / OVI, speeding, traffic or criminal charge, call Attorney Doug Riddell directly at 614-361-2804. Because we know DUI and criminal charges rarely happen during 9:00-5:00 working hours, we are there to take your call after hours, on evenings, weekends, and holidays.  

The Dublin Mayor’s Court is located at 6565 Commerce Pkwy in Dublin, Ohio.

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