Ohio's "look-back period" allows people with repeat drunk driving arrests to escape felony charges and serious punishment. (Source: Raycom Media)
A 19 Action News investigation by reporter Paul Orlousky brought focus on a legal loophole in the state of Ohio that places lives in danger. The loophole is called the "look-back period" and it allows people with repeat drunk driving arrests to escape felony charges and serious punishment.
The story showed that a man who had 10 arrests for drunk driving is only facing misdemeanor charges for his latest arrest. Even more outrageous, he killed three people on Brookpark Road while driving drunk years ago. He has been caught repeatedly since. This is where the "look-back period" loophole comes into play. Because he doesn't have six drunk driving arrests in 20 years, or three in the last six years, the most he can be locked up for is 18 months.
Ten arrests and back on the streets? They should throw away the key. It's the law and we're calling for a change. The Ohio legislature needs to address this immediately before another repeat drunken driver kills someone. However it was intentioned, the "look-back period" provides a loophole so large that countless drunk drivers maneuver through it easily.
When you lose a family member like I have to drunk driving, the only "look-back period" you can do is to mourn lives that have been cut way too short. It's time to change the law.