There is a new NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Test training manual and it is significantly changed from prior versions. Included is the new focus of law enforcement on impairing drugs. The new information lays the groundwork for full implementation of the Drug Recognition Expert protocol now making its way into Ohio law.
This article will focus on the changes in a format that follows the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Test training manual text, session by session. Full versions of the [Read the full post. . .]
What is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant affecting many of the higher as well as lower motor control systems of the body. This results in poor motor coordination, sluggish reflexes, and emotional instability. The part of the nervous system that fine-tunes and controls hand movements and body posture also controls eye movements. When intoxicated, a person’s nervous system will display a breakdown in the smooth and accurate control of eye movements. This breakdown [Read the full post. . .]
Ohio Revised Code 4511.19(D)(4)(b) sets forth the standards for admissibility of the results of field sobriety tests in OVI (drunk driving) prosecutions. See State v. Bozcar, 113 Ohio St. 3d 148, 2007-Ohio-1251, 863 N.E.2d 115 (2007). In order for the tests to be admissible, the State must demonstrate:
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- By clear and convincing evidence.
- The Officer administered the tests insubstantial compliance.
- The testing standards for any reliable, credible, and generally accepted test.
- Including, but not limited to,
Some Ohio courts have upheld determinations that the mere presence of a moderate to strong odor of alcohol, coupled with a proper initial stop, is sufficient to justify the administration of field sobriety tests. See, e.g., State v. Tackett, 2d Dist. No. 2011-CA-15, 2011-Ohio-6711 (“[t]his court has, however, repeatedly held that a strong odor of alcohol alone is sufficient to provide an officer with reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior”). See also State v. Schott, 2d Dist. [Read the full post. . .]
Protecting You From Illegal Police Stops!
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. . .]