Rep. Manning Testifies On Legislation Updating Ohio's Traffic Code
Legislation would add harmful intoxicants, including anesthetic gas, to OVI law
February 24, 2016
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State Representative Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) yesterday testified in the House Judiciary Committee on legislation he is sponsoring that makes several modifications to the traffic code, including adding “harmful intoxicants” to the list of drugs of abuse.

House Bill 446 would add “harmful intoxicants” to the Commercial Drivers Licensing Definitions while also expanding the scope of OVI (operating a vehicle impaired) law to include additional substances within the definition of “drugs of abuse.” This would include “any compound, mixture, preparation, or substance the gas, fumes or vapor of which inhaled can induce intoxication.” Aerosol propellant and anesthetic gas would be included in this definition.

“Recent stories have shed light on the importance of including substances, such as compressed air, in OVI law,” Rep. Manning said. “It’s important for the safety of Ohio citizens that we ensure that there is justice for those who are injured or even killed by a driver who is under the influence of these dangerous substances.”

The bill aims to update other provisions in Ohio’s traffic code, such as modifying an OVI offense that is a third degree felony from 9, 12, 18, 30 or 36 months in prison to 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54 or 60 months. The bill also makes “driving under suspension laws” consistent by allowing a person to assert the existing affirmative defense of driving in an emergency with regard to prosecution for driving under a suspended driver’s license.

The bill received its first hearing in committee yesterday and has the support of various organizations including the Ohio Judicial Conference and the Association of Municipal/County Judges of Ohio.

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