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Ohio OVI Law: State v. Larrick (11th District)

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Ohio OVI Law: State v. Larrick (11th District)

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State v. Larrick, 2010-Ohio-2288, 2009-P-0054 (OHCA11)

This case involved a discrepancy between the testimony of the Trooper at trial and the evidence recorded by the cruiser camera.  Travis S. appeals from the judgment of the Portage County Municipal Court, Ravenna Division, overruling his motion to suppress regarding a traffic stop, which led to his conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.  The Court reviewed the tape and did not see a marked lanes violation.  Below are some relevant portions of the decision.

“[W]e note that Trooper Ganley testified that Mr. “just crossed over” the fog lines during his initial alleged violation. In its judgment entry, the trial court found that during the initial alleged violation, “both of Defendant’s driver’s side tires traveled over the double yellow line for approximately 20 feet [.]” Our own review of the DVD of the incident made by Trooper Ganley comports with his testimony on the subject: the alleged violation is not perceptible on the DVD.

Mr. further contends that the DVD from Trooper Ganley’s cruiser fails to show the second alleged violation, purportedly occurring just after he turned onto Lincoln Street from Route 59. Trooper Ganley maintained, repeatedly, that this violation would be depicted clearly on the DVD, and that it consisted of both of Mr. ‘s driver’s side wheels about one foot over the line. In its judgment entry, the trial court found that one tire on Mr. ‘s car was one foot over the center line.

We have reviewed this portion of the DVD several times. While there appears to be a moment when Mr. ‘s car lurches slightly, no violation is visible.

We respectfully disagree with the dissent’s conclusion that this court is substituting its own reading of the evidence for that of the trial court. Rather, the problem is that the trial court’s findings of fact do not seem to comport with either Trooper Ganley’s testimony regarding the alleged violations, nor the DVD. Consequently, the trial court’s factual findings are not supported by competent, credible evidence, which is the standard we must apply when considering the grant or denial of a motion to suppress.

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Charles Rowland


Charles M. Rowland II has been representing the accused drunk driver for over 20 years. Contact him at (937) 318-1384 if you find yourself facing a DUI (now called OVI) charge.

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