Alcohol Influence Report – OVI Trial Strategy
The Alcohol Influence Report is a document prepared by the arresting officer noting each and every indicator for alcohol impairment that they took note of in their investigation. Most of the forms require that the officer simply check the predetermined indicator. Not surprisingly, all the officer’s observations fall neatly into these predetermined areas. The report is a document of the officers opinions and should not be considered routine ministerial reports of a non-adversarial nature. Clearly, letting the jury have this document as evidence to review in the jury room would be prejudicial to an OVI defense.
You need an attorney who can stop bad information from coming in. An aggressive cross-examination during a motion to suppress is the best defense. Here is another way to keep out the Alcohol Influence Report.
Evidence Rule 803(8) excludes the alcohol influence report from evidence. It states, in pertinent part:
Rules of Evidence and the Alcohol Influence Report
(8) Public records and reports. Records, reports, statements, or data compilations, in any form, of public offices or agencies, setting forth (a) the activities of the office or agency, or (b) matters observed pursuant to duty imposed by law as to which matters there was a duty to report, excluding, however, in criminal cases matters observed by police officers and other law enforcement personnel, unless offered by defendant, unless the sources of information or other circumstances indicate lack of trustworthiness.
Courts have found that admissions of the forms is reversible error. State v. Joyce, 1998 WL 315913 (Ohio Ct. App. 1st Dist. Hamilton County 1998); State v. Weaver, 1985 WL 4343 (Ohio Ct. App. 10th Dist. Franklin County 1985); State v. Nightwine, 1982 WL 6042 (Ohio Ct. App. 12th Dist. Preble County 1982). See also Ohio DUI Law, Weiler & Weiler 2013-2014 ed. at 439.