Ohio State Highway Patrol – Ohio’s Drug Warriors
A state law passed in 2012 banned knowingly possessing hidden compartments in vehicles that are designed to conceal elicit drugs or evidence. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has used this law in their role as Ohio’s leading drug warriors. Since 2012, OSP has tallied 24 cases of hidden compartment violations and counting. Punishments are steep with charges ranging up to a second degree felony. In addition, the car is crushed.
If you are involved in a traffic stop, expect that the trooper is looking to convert the stop into a drug investigation. Drug citations growing! More than 7,000 violations were tallied in 2012, more than 9,000 in 2013 and over 11,000 in 2014. It is unclear whether the majority of these arrests involve marijuana.
In addition to the increased drug enforcement on the highways, we have seen a state-wide commitment by the State Patrol to train Drug Recognition Experts. This training gives troopers a pseudo-scientific tool to use in court against suspected drug users. Unfavorably compared to DUI Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, the tests lack scientific validity and accuracy.
An important development impacting the OSP’s plan is a recent decision from the United States Supreme Court, see Rodriguez v. United States. “We hold that a police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the 6 to 3 majority. “A seizure justified only by a police-observed traffic violation, therefore, becomes unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete the mission of issuing a ticket for the violation.”
At DaytonDUI we are committed to staying on the cutting edge of DUI and Drug Defense. Charles M. Rowland II is a frequent speaker and contributor to Miami Valley NORML and has attended the Drug Recognition Expert Training in order to have the resources to defend you against false charges of drug use.