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DUI Law

Police Do Not Need To Know Law To Enforce It – Heien v. North Carolina

Heien v. North Carolina, No. 13–604. Argued October 6, 2014—Decided December 15, 2014 ; another case giving police more power to stop and arrest and another body blow to the Fourth Amendment.In 2009, Nicholas Heien and a friend were traveling on a highway in North Carolina when they were stopped for having a broken tail light. Subsequently, a search of the car found a plastic bag containing cocaine. Where this case takes a turn is when we learn that the police had no legal right to stop the car because, under North Carolina law, having a single broken tail light is...

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Policing For Profit Approved By Ohio Supreme Court

If you were hoping that the Ohio Supreme Court would curtail a city's ability to implement policing for profit, you would be disappointed.  Last week, in Walker v. Toledo, Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-5461, a divided Supreme Court ruled that cities in Ohio have complete freedom to set up tribunals that do away with due process protections for motorists accused by a machine.The majority opinion, written by Justice Kennedy held specifically that, Municipalities have home-rule authority under Ohio Constitution, Article XVIII,to impose civil liability on traffic violators through an administrativeenforcement system—Ohio Constitution, Article IV, Section 1 and R.C.1901.20 do not endow municipal courts...

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Alcohol Flush Reaction: An Allergy to Alcohol

Have you ever heard anyone say that they are "allergic" to alcohol?  Well, if the person is of Asian descent, they may have a common reaction to alcohol know as Alcohol Flush Reaction.Studies have shown about a third of Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans respond to alcohol by turning red.The reaction is a condition in which an individual develops flushes or blotches associated with erythema on the face, neck, shoulders, and, in some cases, the entire body after consuming alcoholic beverages. The reaction is the result of an accumulation of acetaldehyde, a metabolic byproduct of the catabolic metabolism of alcohol, and...

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Aggravated Vehicular Assault: What is Operation?

In order to convict a person of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, the State is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that, “while operating * * * a motor vehicle, * * * cause[d] serious physical harm to another person * * * [a]s the proximate result of committing a violation of division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code * * *.” R.C. 2903.08(A)(1)(a).The Ohio Jury Instructions with respect to vehicular assault provide a definition of “operate” which mimics that found in R.C. 4511.01(HHH).  The definition of “operate” in R.C. 4511.01(HHH) encompasses past or completed movement of a vehicle.  Ohio...

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Do You Face A Military OVI Charge?

Do you face a military OVI? The consequences of an OVI while serving active duty in the military can be devastating: dishonorable discharge, rank reduction, pay deduction, loss of security clearance, fines and jail time and mandatory military counseling sessions and potential exclusion from some sensitive operations.  Military regulations often subject its members to enhanced Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP), which go above and beyond the punishments allowed by civilian law.  We are seeing more cases where the leadership is “cracking down” on drunk driving offenses and promising to end the career of personnel who are found guilty of a military OVI offense.  This...

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Springfield Red Light Cameras Losing Millions In Revenue

According to an article in TheNewspaper.com, Springfield red light cameras are losing millions of dollars in revenue. Why?In 2008, the Ohio General Assembly enacted a law requiring all cities using  cameras to lengthen the duration of the warning given to motorists approaching a photo enforced intersection. Cities were given until March 12, 2009 to make the change, and the cities that complied saw a dramatic reduction in violations."In Springfield, red light cameras have issued automated tickets at ten intersections since 2006. Before the yellow timing law took effect, the city's for-profit vendor issued an average of 18,185 citations annually. Between 2009...

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Ignition Interlock Bill Dies In Committee

Annie's Law (H.B. 469) a bill that would have required all first-time OVI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles has failed to garner enough votes to make it out of committee.  The bill, in its proposed form would have required a driver to blow into the the device to start the car, which would prevent the engine from starting if too much alcohol was detected on his or her breath.The bill faced opposition from the Ohio Judicial Conference and the Ohio State Bar Association. Chief worries about the bill included issues of restricting judicial sentencing discretion and...

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OVI Law: Elimination of Alcohol By Oxidation

OVI law requires an understanding of how alcohol enters, affects and exits the body.  Here is a brief overview of the elimination process.Alcohol exits the human body by being oxidized by a number of very important enzymes.  Foremost among these enzymes are ADH (alcohol dehydrogenase) and ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase).  Over 90% of the ingested alcohol is oxidized in the liver.  The remaining 10% is excreted via the breath (.07%), the urine (.03%) and sweat (.01%). [Master, S., Chapter 23: The Alcohols, Basics and Clinical Pharmacology, B. Katzung, Editor, McGraw Hill, Eighth Edition, 2001, p. 382 (hereafter "Katzung").We know that the...

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Ohio Senate Votes To Ban Traffic Cameras

As many regular readers of this blog already know, I have made it my mission to speak out against traffic cameras and speed cameras since their introduction.  I consider them to be corrupt and corrupting.  They are the worst example of turning the criminal justice system (and the citizens) into a source of revenue.Today the Ohio Senate passed legislation that will effectively ban traffic cameras statewide.  The law would require that a police officer be on the scene to issue the ticket.  This would require a tremendous amount of money for departments to "staff" the cameras.  The legislation passed the...

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Ohio DUI Law: Is Smell of Marijuana Sufficient?

Marijuana Is the odor of enough to justify a police search or arrest and can an officer make a valid determination based on just a smell?Attorney Charles Rowland answers common marijuana and OVI charge questions in this video. A peer-reviewed journal article, entitled “Marijuana Odor Perception: Studies Modeled From Probable Cause Cases”, published in Law and Human Behavior, (Vol. 28, No. 2, April 2004) explains that “The present findings throw into question, in two specific instances, the validity of observations made by law enforcement officers using the sense of smell to discern the presence of the drug. Although these instances reflect a...

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