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Persistence pays off in DUI case

Persistence pays off. That’s the takeaway from a story about a DUI case far from us in Denver. An Ohio woman and her attorney have been fighting to suppress evidence obtained by police officers in a town near Cleveland since the summer of 2011.

That state’s Supreme Court recently ruled that a trial court must now hold a hearing on the request from the woman and her attorney to suppress evidence from an August 3, 2011 arrest for drunken driving. 

The woman was pulled over that day for speeding and DUI, but no video was recorded of the stop or the field sobriety tests administered. The only evidence given to the woman after her arrest: a police report.

The report described only the woman’s actions that day and what the officer determined from the actions. There was no description of what the officer had asked her to do for the sobriety tests and no account of the demonstration given by the officer.

Afterwards, the woman asked the court to suppress the evidence from the traffic stop. The trial court rejected the request, saying the motion lacked specifics on the evidence-suppression issues involved.

She appealed that decision to the state Appeals Court, which sided with the trial court. She then filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled in her favor, noting that because there was no video recording, the woman’s attorney was unable to cite “more particularized grounds” on which to base the motion to suppress.

Another media report on the case said that the court also stated that the woman didn’t have to provide “excruciating detail” in the motion, but rather provide adequate notice of the issues involved.

The woman’s persistence has paid off. The case now returns to trial court for a hearing on the motion to suppress evidence. 

Source: The Morning Journal, "Columbia Station woman's OVI case sent back to trial court," Kaylee Remington, April 17, 2014

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