Being charged with “underage consumption” is a common occurrence on Ohio college campuses. The crime of underage consumption is a violation of Ohio Revised Code, which prohibits possessing, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol under the age of 21. Holding an alcoholic beverage and/or being intoxicated in a public place is enough to sustain the charge. Students sometimes mistakenly believe that an officer must give them a breathalyzer test to “prove” intoxication. This is not [Read the full post. . .]
In Kirtland Hills v. Medancic, 2012-Ohio-4333, a recent case out of the Eleventh District Court of Appeals, the Court reaffirmed the principle that just because a police officer smells alcohol on a driver does not mean that the police officer has reasonable and articulable suspicion to continue the detention of the driver and/or remove that driver to administer standardized field sobriety tests. One of the major decision points in the OVI arrest process is the officer’s decision to remove [Read the full post. . .]
The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) are a battery of three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest. These tests were developed as a result of research sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and conducted by the Southern California Research Institute. A formal program of training was developed and is available through NHTSA to help law enforcement officers become more skillful at detecting [Read the full post. . .]
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures, which includes being unlawfully or illegally pulled over or stopped by law enforcement. An officer cannot simply pull you over based on a hunch or intuition. When a police officer observes a traffic violation, he or she is justified in initiating a limited stop for the purpose of issuing a citation. State v. Brickman(2001), 11th Dist. No. [Read the full post. . .]
WHEN ARE THE STANDARDIZED FIELD TESTS VALID?
The standardized field sobriety tests, as set forth in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Student Manual (Feb. 2006 ed.), are described in Session VIII. The NHTSA manual provides the standards upon which every law enforcement officer is trained. One important piece of information about standardization is included in the manual which may help the DUI practitioner provide context to a jury.
Perhaps the most important statement about standardization can be found at [Read the full post. . .]