Hamilton County Municipal Court, Case No. 07/TRC/41994

City of Cincinnati OVI/DUI

Client was charged by City of Cincinnati Police with 4511.19(A)(1)(a), Operating a Motor Vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drug of abuse (OVI/DUI). At the scene the arresting officer stated the client admitted to drinking, that he noticed a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot watery eyes, and slow and slurred speech. The officer had the Client perform two standardized field sobriety test, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, which the officer noted 6 out of 6 clues, and the Walk and Turn Test, which the officer noted 6 out of 8 clues, and two non-standardized field sobriety tests, namely the finger to nose and finger to thumb tests. Counsel filed a Motion to Suppress, challenging the constitutionality of the stop, the admissibility of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests as it was not done in compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) student manual, and challenging the lack of probable cause to arrest the Client. After a hearing on the Motion to Suppress, the Court suppressed the results of the HGN test finding it was not administered in the prescribed manner, and the matter was set for jury trial.   The morning of the jury trial, the City Prosecutor’s office offered a reduced charge of Reckless Operation which was accepted.