<![CDATA[Columbus, Ohio DUI Lawyer | Criminal Defense Attorney | (614) 467-0264 - Blog]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 01:52:37 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Ohio Attorney General Wants Better Law Enforcement Training]]>Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:24:42 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2015/04/ohio-attorney-general-wants-better-law-enforcement-training.htmlA 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.]]>
<![CDATA[Ohio Laws are Changing for 2015]]>Sat, 03 Jan 2015 00:03:41 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2015/01/ohio-laws-are-changing-for-2015.htmlThere 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.]]>
<![CDATA[Ohio House Ends Traffic Camera Era]]>Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:22:51 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/12/ohio-house-ends-traffic-camera-era.htmlThe 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.


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<![CDATA[Supreme Court of Ohio gives OVI lawyers more ability to challenge DUI breath tests]]>Thu, 09 Oct 2014 23:26:30 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/10/supreme-court-of-ohio-gives-ovi-lawyers-more-ability-to-challenge-dui-breath-tests.htmlOn 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.
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<![CDATA[OVI Field Sobriety Tests - Clues for the Walk and Turn]]>Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:48:44 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/09/ovi-field-sobriety-tests-clues-for-the-walk-and-turn.htmlThe 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. 

There are eight clues that police use to determine if someone has failed the Walk and Turn test. The bad news is that you only have to exhibit 2 out of 8 clues to fail this test!
THE CLUES
  1. Can't keep balance while officer is giving instructions. Remember that at the beginning of the test the officer has you standing with your feet touching heel to toe. If your feet break apart then you are off to a bad start. 
  2. You start the test before the officer finishes giving you the instructions. This is another test to see if you can remember the instructions before you begin. The drunk driver eager to pass the tests often makes this mistake. Since almost everyone has seen these tests performed before they think they know exactly what to do. They don't, but you will. 
  3. Stops while walking. This means you come to a complete stop while completing the test. I have represented clients in hundreds of OVI related cases and routinely achieve favorable results. This clue really stands out. The test is called the Walk and Turn. Please don't stop walking until you have completed the test.
  4. Fails to touch heel to toe. Pretty self explanatory. 
  5. Steps off the line. Most people focus on this clue. It's a bad sign if you can't get this one right. 
  6. Uses arms to balance. The officer will record this clue if you raise your arms more than 6 inches from your sides. It can be a little challenging to walk heel to toe, but if you have to raise your arms that high to balance. . .  you may need an experienced DUI lawyer.
  7. Makes an improper turn. Read the instructions above. The turn is hard to perform correctly if you have had too much to drink. I have seen a lot of ballerina-like movements on cruiser videos. 
  8. Takes the incorrect number of steps. The instructions call for 9 steps. I once had a client that did 21. There is no punch line. The person did 21 steps going one way. The officers thought the individual was trying a "slow escape" strategy.



Thanks for reading.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI Detection Manual 2006.
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<![CDATA[Columbus OVI Field Sobriety Test Breakdown - The Walk and Turn]]>Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:06:24 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/07/columbus-ovi-field-sobriety-test-breakdown-the-walk-and-turn.html"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! 
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."


I think everyone should do this test at home and try to guess the eight clues that officers are looking for during their DUI investigation. In a future post Nathan Pieri, a highly experienced OVI lawyer, will provide you with information to avoid going through the Ohio OVI process



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI Detection Manual 2006.
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<![CDATA[Columbus OVI (DUI) Standardized Field Sobriety Tests - "The Eye Test"]]>Wed, 28 May 2014 22:33:16 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/05/columbus-ovi-dui-standardized-field-sobriety-tests.htmlColumbus 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."

HGN - "The Eye Test"

The scientific definition of nystagmus is an involuntary jerking of the eyes. HGN occurs when the eyes jerk involuntarily while moving from side to side. Research performed by NHTSA has shown that HGN is the most accurate test of the three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in detecting alcohol impairment. 

Officers look for three specific clues when testing HGN. I will spare you the boredom of discussing the procedures used to detect the three HGN clues and give you a brief (very brief) summary. Basically you follow a "stimulus" such as a pen, finger, or flashlight with your eyes while the officer checks to see if they are jerking back and forth. The worst part about HGN is that often times you are completely unaware of the slight jerking motion that occurs in your eyes when you are impaired by alcohol. 

Curious to know what an officer sees when he or she looks into the eyes of an intoxicated person? Well here it is. It should be fairly obvious that the bottom set of eyeballs belong to a person that has been drinking. . . a lot.


Warning: You may not want to watch if you are the squeamish type. 



Remember that HGN is an involuntary movement. Even if you think you can "beat" the other Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, you likely can not beat this one. Only an experienced DUI attorney can determine whether the officer administered the test correctly. Always remember you have the right to refuse Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. There are penalties associated with refusing to perform these tests, but when you refuse you limit the amount of evidence the prosecution can use against you. Furthermore, the right DUI lawyer can help avoid the penalties associated with refusing the tests.



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI Detection Manual 2006.
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<![CDATA[A Columbus DUI Attorney's Breakdown on the Ohio OVI cont'd]]>Tue, 20 May 2014 23:57:35 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/05/a-columbus-dui-attorneys-breakdown-on-the-ohio-ovi-contd.htmlColumbus 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:

DUI Exit Sequence

  • Angry or unusual reactions when asked to get out of the vehicle - If I haven't said so before, ALWAYS be polite and cooperative* when you are dealing with a police officer. ALWAYS. Your behavior is likely the determining factor as to whether or not you go to jail. Picture mace/pepper spray and handcuffs.

  • Can't follow instructions - This happens very rarely and usually does not end well.

  • Can't get out of the vehicle - See above. Also, call my office the moment you are released from the hospital or jail because you will be going to one of the two.

  • Leaves vehicle in gear - I recently had a client do this. The gentleman in question had "fallen asleep" at the wheel. The officer politely tapped on the driver's side window to wake up my client. Little did either of them know but the car was still in gear. "Luckily" for my client there was a cruiser behind his car and an ambulance in front of it. As he attempted to exit the vehicle it slowly crept forward until it hit the ambulance. In a panic my client jumped back in the car to reverse away from the ambulance. . . and hit the cruiser. Please put your vehicle in park before you try to exit.

  • Leans on vehicle after exiting - Some people do this in an attempt to appear relaxed and at ease in front of the officer investigating DUI. Don't do it. Be respectful. Stand up straight, be polite and cooperative.*



  • Climbs out of vehicle - This would be akin to placing your hands on either side of the open door and pulling yourself up and out of the car. 

  • Keeps hands on vehicle for balance - If the officer investigating you for OVI can tell that you can't keep your balance, then you need to call me as soon as possible.


*Cooperation does not mean that you have to submit to the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that the officer will administer now that you are out of the vehicle. You do have the right to refuse to submit to any test the officer asks you to perform; however, there may be repercussions

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI Detection Manual 2006.

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<![CDATA[A Columbus OVI Attorney's Breakdown on the Ohio DUI cont'd]]>Tue, 13 May 2014 22:31:43 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/05/a-columbus-ovi-attorneys-breakdown-on-the-ohio-dui-contd.htmlColumbus 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. 

ABC's in OVI Investigation

You may be asked to recite part of the alphabet. You would think you could say your ABC's even during a state of extreme intoxication. The officer is unlikely to even ask you to say it backwards. He or she will just ask you to recite a part of the alphabet. Why is it that so many clients bomb this part of the investigation? If the officer were to ask you to recite the alphabet from A to Z, surely you could do it with ease. BUT NHTSA instructs an officer investigating a DUI to ask the driver to recite the alphabet from D to V or E to Q, etc. The trick is to make you process the information in a way your brain is unaccustomed to, which is obviously much more difficult if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Most people that fail the "alphabet test" do not stop on the correct letter and continue all the way to Z. In more embarrassing situations, they can't recite the alphabet at all. 

Counting

You may also be asked to count backwards. The officer will instruct you to start at a certain number and stop at another number. NHTSA recommends that the officer ask you to count backwards from 68-53. The idea is very similar to the alphabet test. The randomization of the starting and stopping points in each test make them difficult for a drunk person to perform.

If you are able to answer the officer's divided attention questions and perform competently on the tests above you likely will receive a traffic ticket and be on your war. If you can not, you should keep an eye out for the next post.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI Detection Manual 2006.

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<![CDATA[A Columbus DUI Attorney's Breakdown on the Ohio OVI. Part 2b]]>Wed, 07 May 2014 00:32:32 GMThttp://pierilegal.com/2/post/2014/05/a-columbus-dui-attorneys-breakdown-on-the-ohio-ovi-part-2b.htmlColumbus 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. 
A person impaired by alcohol slowly loses the ability to think and react to multiple questions or commands when they are given simultaneously. Simply put: You can't pay attention when you're drunk. The three questioning techniques that follow are all designed to make you focus on performing more than one task at a time. DUI Lawyers commonly refer to these techniques as "Divided Attention Tests."

3 Columbus DUI Questioning Techniques 

1) Ask for 2 things simultaneously when investigating a possible DUI. The officer that has pulled you over for OVI might ask you to provide BOTH your driver's license and vehicle registration, or your driver's license and proof of insurance etc. According to NHTSA, a driver may be DUI if they:
  • forget to provide both documents
  • produce documents other than the ones requested
  • fail to see one or both documents in their wallet, purse or glove compartment
  • "fumble around"
  • are unable to retrieve the requested documents using their fingertips 
2) Ask interrupting or distracting questions when you suspect a driver is OVI. Example: The officer that suspects you are DUI will ask "where you were coming from" while you are trying to retrieve your driver's license. NHTSA says the driver may be OVI if they:
  • ignore the question and concentrate on the search for their license or other requested documents
  • forget to resume searching for the requested document(s) after answering the officer's question
  • give a grossly incorrect answer to the question. Example: The officer asks you what time it is and you respond that it is 1 pm when it is actually 4 am, well now that would be a problem. 
3) Ask unusual questions to a person who is possibly driving drunk. I take my job as a Columbus DUI Attorney very seriously. When I have a client charged with OVI I will defend them as aggressively as possible. That being said, this technique just makes me chuckle. I always envision an officer asking a DUI suspected driver, "If you could be any kind of animal, what animal would you be?" Unfortunately that is not the type of unusual question NHTSA is referring to. The questions are much sneakier, sinister and . . . completely normal. 
  • Example: While the officer is looking at your driver's license he might ask, "What is your middle name?" On the surface this question seems simple enough, but your mind is in overdrive and you probably think the question will be related to your date of birth or address. That is why the question is so tricky: it is effective. 


From this article forward the information will be coming fast and loud. There is one more section in Phase Two of Columbus DUI Detection to discuss. In the next article I will give you some brief information about the other common techniques used during an Ohio OVI investigation. Then we'll get into what happens when you hear those dreaded words, "step out of the car please."

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI Detection Manual 2006.

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