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Broken Taillights, Illumination of Rear License Plate & OVI Charges


    To pull a car over, the police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime or traffic violation has occurred. One commonly cited reason that officers cite for pulling over a vehicle in an OVI case is a broken taillight.

    Ohio’s Taillight Law: Tail lights and Illumination of Rear License Plate
    (ORC 4513.05)

    At Least One Taillight Must Work

    Under Ohio law, every vehicle must have “at least one tail light mounted on the rear” that, when lighted, must “emit a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear.” Violation is a minor misdemeanor.

    License Plate Must Be Illuminated

    Either a tail light or a separate light must illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate, so that the plates can be legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear.  Violation is a minor misdemeanor.

    If you have been charged with an OVI and cited with a tail light or license plate illumination violation, talk to one of our Columbus DUI attorneys about your options.  The penalties you are facing – even for a first time OVI offense – can be serious.  Our attorneys offer a free consultation and can discuss your options for getting your license or driving privileges back as soon as possible and strategies to defend agains the charges.