Ohio’s High Court Says Experienced Police Testimony Suffices

Posted on:

< < Back to

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A divided Ohio Supreme Court has ruled the testimony of an experienced police officer is sufficient evidence that a driver was under the influence of a painkiller.

The 4-3 ruling Thursday reversed a state appellate court that threw out an OVI conviction for prosecutors’ failure to provide expert testimony linking the opiate hydrocodone to the driver’s behavior. The state’s high court says the effects of the drug are sufficiently well-known to support the Dayton officer.

The 14-year police veteran reported that he observed the driver rear-ending another vehicle, had slurred speech, singed his hair while lighting a cigarette, and showed signs of impairment during a walk-and-turn field sobriety test.

Defendant Clinton Richardson’s attorney, Adam Arnold, says he’s surprised by the ruling and will look into a federal appeal.