OVI Trial Practice: Admission of the Alcohol Influence Report
The Alcohol Influence Report is a document prepared by the arresting officer noting each and every indicator for alcohol impairment that they took note of in their investigation. Most of the forms require that the officer simply check the predetermined indicator. Not surprisingly, all the officer’s observations fall neatly into these predetermined areas. The report is a document of the officers opinions and should not be considered routine ministerial reports of a non-adversarial nature. Clearly, letting the jury have this document as evidence to review in the jury room would be prejudicial to an OVI defense.
Evidence Rule 803(8) excludes the alcohol influence report from evidence. It states, in pertinent part:
RULES OF EVIDENCE
(8) Public records and reports. Records, reports, statements, or data compilations, in any form, of public offices or agencies, setting forth (a) the activities of the office or agency, or (b) matters observed pursuant to duty imposed by law as to which matters there was a duty to report, excluding, however, in criminal cases matters observed by police officers and other law enforcement personnel, unless offered by defendant, unless the sources of information or other circumstances indicate lack of trustworthiness.
Some courts have found that admissions of the forms is reversible error. State v. Joyce, 1998 WL 315913 (Ohio Ct. App. 1st Dist. Hamilton County 1998); State v. Weaver, 1985 WL 4343 (Ohio Ct. App. 10th Dist. Franklin County 1985); State v. Nightwine, 1982 WL 6042 (Ohio Ct. App. 12th Dist. Preble County 1982). See also Ohio DUI Law, Weiler & Weiler 2013-2014 ed. at 439.
Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”