Drunk Driving and Jurisdiction
Client: I was stopped by a Beavercreek Police Officer, but I was outside of Beavercreek. I had crossed into Fairborn. Will my case be dismissed?
Many people (including attorneys) have the mistaken belief that an officer may only effectuate a traffic/DUI stop in his or her own jurisdiction. The Ohio Revised Code, section 2935.03 provides that not only may an officer arrest within the jurisdiction, but may also do so outside of the limits in certain circumstances. DUI, as a first degree misdemeanor offense, is such a circumstance. My own 2nd District Court of Appeals, in State v. Cox, 1999 WL 980345, at 4 (Ohio Ct. App. 2d. Dist. Greene County 1999), decided that the above-cited statute was “effective only in those areas where the jurisdictions are contiguous.” The Twelfth District decided upon a test to be used to determine when a police officer could stop and detain a motorist outside the officer’s jurisdiction. (1) the officer receives a report of erratic driving within the officer’s geographical jurisdiction, and (2) the officer initiates immediate pursuit without delay from the officer’s jurisdiction. This test was upheld even though the cop did not observe erratic driving until the accused was in a neighboring jurisdiction.
Source: Ohio Driving Under the Influence Law, 2005 ed., Judge M. Painter.