A task force for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is recommending more training for police and law enforcement before they can be licensed to carry a badge. DeWine believes that Ohio citizens are entitled to the most well trained police that the state can offer. DeWine is absolutely right. The growing trend of outrageous acts by law enforcement across the country could soon become a threat to all citizens. Poorly trained police are not as capable of protecting the community they have been commissioned to serve. In fact, they are much more likely to make wrongful arrests and potentially brutalize citizens. Criminal defense attorneys in Columbus and throughout Ohio are all too familiar with the drawbacks of police that have not received the proper training. Defense lawyers and Ohio citizens should hope that these recommendations reach the ears of someone that can enact legislation to better train the individuals that are supposed to keep us safe. 

The full story can be found here at the Columbus Dispatch.
There are a number of changes to state law that will affect Ohio citizens including:
  1. Traffic Cameras
  2. Gun Laws
  3. Driver's License Suspensions
  4. Income Tax
  5. The Death Penalty
  6. Education
  7. Abortion
  8. Adoption
  9. The Environment

The full article can be found at the Columbus Dispatch.
The Ohio House passed a bill that will likely make traffic cameras too costly to maintain in Columbus and other cities throughout Ohio. The bill would require a uniformed police officer to be present at each intersection where a traffic camera is located. It is unlikely that cities in Ohio would be able to afford the necessary man power to comply with this bill. The traffic camera reign of terror may soon come to an end.

On October 1st, the Supreme Court of Ohio gave DUI lawyers a new way to attack alcohol breath test results. The Court ruled that DUI lawyers have the right to review the data of prior results of a alcohol breath testing machine when the lawyer currently represents a client that blew into the same machine. The Ohio Administrative Code mandates that the Ohio Department of Health be responsible for the keeping and maintenance of those records. If the Department of Health fails to turn over the necessary records to the DUI lawyer, then it is very possible that the results of his or her client's breath test would not be admissible. This would cause problems for law enforcement in thousands of OVI cases. The Court's decision was based in part on the unreliability of a certain breath testing machine - the Intoxilyzer 8000. 

You can read the full story here.
The Walk and Turn is one of the standardized field sobriety tests police use to determine if someone is possibly drunk driving.These are the instructions that police give when administering the Walk and Turn:

Initial Instructions and Positioning 
  1. Place your left foot on the line. (Demonstrated)
  2. Place your right foot on the line ahead of your left foot, with the heel of your right foot touching the toe of your left foot (Demonstrated)
  3. Place your arms down at your sides. (Demonstrated though I don't know why. If you are too drunk to understand this instruction then you probably should have considered refusing to perform field sobriety tests.
  4. Stay in this position until the officer has completed the instructions. Do NOT start until told to do so.
  5. At this point the officer will ask if you understand the instructions so far - Remember that you have to stand in the position I just described. If you are drunk this momentary pause can prove very challenging. 

Instructions and Demonstration of Test 
  1. When the officer tells you to start, you will take nine hell-to-toe steps, turn, and take nine heel-to-toe steps back.
  2. When you turn, keep your front foot on the line and turn by taking a series of small steps with the other foot. 
  3. While you are walking you have to keep your arms at your sides, watch your feet at all times, and count out loud. 
  4. Once you start walking, don't stop until you have completed the entire test.
  5. The officer will then ask if you understand the instructions.
  6. When you begin, count your first step from the heel-to-toe position as "One."

Next, a Columbus DUI Lawyer will tell you what the police are trained to detect. Hopefully it will help you stay out of trouble. 


"Can you walk a straight line?"

The Walk and Turn is the field sobriety test that most people know about. However, walking a straight line is just one of EIGHT possible clues that Columbus Police look for when investigating you for DUI. Keep in mind that the line can be real or imaginary. The belief that you simply have to walk a straight line to pass this test is the reason that most people perform so awfully on this test. Always remember that the standardized field sobriety tests used to detect OVI are all about dividing your attention. A person impaired by drugs or alcohol will have much more difficulty processing multiple pieces of information at once. The following are the actual instructions the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells law enforcement to give to a person suspected of OVI. The officer will give these instructions and even demonstrate some of them. . . but not all. Listen carefully! 

Columbus Police and other Ohio law enforcement agencies use a battery of tests to determine if a person is OVI. All of these tests are designed to gather evidence to be used against you if you are ultimately charged with DUI. Currently The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only recognizes the scientific reliability of THREE of these tests in determining whether a person is drunk driving, DUI, or OVI. These three tests are more commonly known as Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The first standardized field sobriety test that an officer should administer is called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test aka the "the eye test."


Columbus DUI Detection Phase Three: Exiting the Vehicle

If the officer investigating you for DUI asks you to step out of your vehicle you should be on high alert. From this point forward all of your actions will be heavily scrutinized by the officer. So take a deep breath and get it right. This stage of Columbus OVI investigation is called the "exit sequence." NHTSA instructs an officer to look for the following indications of impairment:


Columbus DUI Detection Phase Two: Personal Contact cont'd

At this point in the DUI investigation the police officer has probably already determined that you will be asked to exit the vehicle and submit to Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, but why not make you look a little more foolish first. Now that the officer has used several techniques to determine whether you are OVI, he or she may use one or two more questions to catch you off guard and gather as much evidence to be used against you as possible. These questions seem simple on the surface, but when someone is impaired by alcohol or drugs answering them becomes much more difficult. In fact, these elementary level questions often make my clients look the worst. 


Columbus OVI Detection Phase Two: Personal Contact - Police Questioning Techniques

Most of the information in my two previous articles was fairly logical and straightforward. Today I'm going to give you the information the police do NOT want you to have. Columbus Police and other law enforcement agencies use specific questioning techniques during their "pre-arrest" DUI investigation. Once again, these techniques are taken directly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual. NHTSA developed testing procedures to detect drunk driving after years of studying the effects of alcohol on your mental and physical capabilities. Obviously the effects of alcohol on the nervous system vary from person to person, but NHTSA found one extremely valuable common occurrence amongst their drunken test subjects.