5th District Upholds Sobriety Checkpoint (by DaytonDUI)
In the recent case of State v. Park, 2012-Ohio-4069, the 5th District Court of Appeals sided with troopers in their administration of a sobriety checkpoint. The Court found against Defendant’s Karen Parks claim that she was wrongfully stopped at a Licking County sobriety checkpoint because the troopers lacked reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and did not properly administer the stop. The Defendant alleged that the troopers adjusted how many vehicles they stopped depending on the traffic in violation of their posted procedures. “Based upon the high volume of traffic, the troopers stopped every third vehicle, but when the traffic decreased, they stopped every vehicle.” “The Ohio State Highway Patrol procedures do not dictate the frequency of vehicles to be stopped.”
On appeal to the 5th District, Park contended that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress because the sobriety checkpoint was unconstitutionally administered. Park claimed that the troopers improperly changed the pattern of stopping vehicles and did not have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to stop her.
The Appellate Court determined that a sobriety checkpoint was not unconstitutional. “Upon review, we find sufficient facts were presented to establish a lawful order to stop, and find no manifest miscarriage of justice,” 5th District Judge Sheila Farmer wrote for the court.