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DUI Law

“Hiding the Ball” in Ohio DUI Cases

ODH and the Disappearing Intoxilyzer 8000 RecordsOne of the proposed benefits of the adoption of the Intoxilyzer 8000 was to be the consolidation of breath test records in one place.  Previously, breath test records were maintained by the individual police departments.  Implementation and maintenance of the Intoxilyzer 8000 is the responsibility of the Ohio Department of Health and specifically the ODH's Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Testing.  The Ohio Department of Health has started a web site containing all information about breath tests in the state, called the Breath Instrument Data Center. [HERE]  Records were to be available on-line and...

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Ohio OVI Breath Testing – Bigger Is Better?

The Intoxilyzer 8000 breath testing machine adopted by Ohio in all 88 counties differs significantly from the Intoxilyzer 5000 machine that has been used for years.   Both machines operate using INFRARED ABSORPTION to analyze breath samples.  The sample (deep lung aveolar air) is blown into the sample chamber and then excited by an infrared light source.  The decrease in intensity of the IR light due to absorption by alcohol in the breath sample is proportional to the alcohol in the breath. The Intoxilyzer 8000 has a significantly smaller sample chamber (29.4 cc's vs. 84 cc's in the 5000) and...

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The Reality of an Ohio DUI Arrest

You are out to dinner with friends and you decide to have a couple of beers.  On the way home you see police lights in your rearview mirror.  The officer approaches and says, “I noticed that your license plate light was not working.”  You remember that the news announced a major “saturation patrol” was taking place and that officers were pulling people over for any conceivable reason.  You tell the officer that you only had a couple of beers.   “Sir, could you please step out of the car.”  The officer puts you through a series of difficult, confusing and humiliating...

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DUI Case Law Update: State v. Houck

 State v. Houck, 2011-Ohio-6359, In State v. Houck, the Fifth District Court of Appeals upheld a decision of the lower court on defendant's Motion to Suppress.  The issue involved an arrest for OVI which was made after an officer alleged the defendant was weaving within his lanes and crossing the center line ONCE.  Just one problem.  When the video was viewed at the motion to suppress hearing, no weaving and no crossing of the center line was observed.  "In this case, the video tape introduced at trial affirmatively demonstrates Appellee’s vehicle did not appear to swerve back and forth and does not...

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MADD Fights For DADDS Technology Study In Senate Transportation Bill

In a great article in Politico, Kathryn Wolfe describes the fight brewing between MADD and the opponents of their latest prohibition technology - DADDS.  MADD has been working with major insurance companies and automobile manufacturers to get a passive alcohol system (called DADDS) as mandated equipment in every automobile in the world.  In 2008, at MADD’s urging, the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety entered into a $10 million agreement with the federal government to develop such a technology. This system would  search every driver (not just convicted DUI offenders) every single time they started their car.  This year, MADD's power as...

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DUI Blood & Urine Testing: Understanding Gas Chromatography

If you have been arrested for a DUI involving blood testing you may encounter a testing procedure known as Gas Chromatography.  Gas Chromatography is the most reliable method for alcohol testing in blood and urine and has become the accepted gold standard in forensic toxicology.  Gas chromatography specificity for ethanol (drinking alcohol) is very good and this method can also identify and quantify other organic or interfering substances such as methanol and isopropanol. The two commonly used techniques for analyzing the gases are "direct injection" and "headspace analysis."  The devise works by utilizing a flow-through tube known as the column. ...

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Dayton Adopts Mobile (Hidden?) Speed Cameras

The Dayton Police Department has taken what some argued was an inevitable step to increase revenue.  They have deployed a mobile speed camera inside a Ford Escape which they will move around the city to catch speeders unawares.  The camera technology is the same used by stationary units.  According to WDTN, "[w]hen a driver exceeds the set speed, the cameras snap three photos of the vehicle. The pictures and a citation will then be sent to the vehicle owner about a week after the offense."  Dayton Police Detective Carol Johnson said she is hopeful the mobile unit will slow drivers...

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Ohio DUI Law: The Hematocrit Defense

How bloody is your blood?  The hematocrit is the number expressing the cell volume of blood (the size and number of red blood cells in proportion to the rest of the blood).  As humans, we all have a natural variation in our hematocrit.  Healthy men have a natural variance from 40.7% to 50% and healthy women have a natural variance from 36.1% to 44.3%.  The hematocrit level is a moving target.  Illness, hydration and stress can cause variations in the hematocrit level.The hematocrit level affects all breath tests by governing how much alcohol may be contained in the blood and,...

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Aggravated Drug Trafficking vs. Drug Trafficking in Ohio

Because of the high-profile nature of drug offenses, trafficking in drugs has overlapping federal and state jurisdiction.  The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is the legal foundation of "War on Drugs" in the United States. The Act regulates the manufacture, possession, movement, and distribution of drugs in our country. It places all drugs into one of five schedules, or classifications, and is controlled by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Federal Drug Administration.  Ohio law, as set forth below, adopts this drug classification system.  Drug trafficking can be charged as...

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