Eleven years of data analyzed by the Columbus Dispatch showed that those charged multiple times with operating a vehicle while impaired were able to get their charges reduced through a plea deal almost as often as those who had no recent drunk driving charges.
Some say repeat offenders know how to beat the system. Drivers can refuse to submit to a breath test if they are pulled over by police. In 2009, defendants refused chemical tests in 36 percent of the cases handled by city prosecutors. In 2013, it was 41 percent. Without the results of such tests, prosecutors lack a key piece of evidence.