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Did Police have enough reason to stop and administer field sobriety tests? & is filing a motion to suppress typical w/ovi case?

Cincinnati, OH |

One day, my 13-yr-old stepdaughter texted us that her mom was drunk. It was mom's parenting time - mother just lost custody & is a recovering alcoholic but has parenting time. Mom took both daughters to doctor appt & hit a car in the lot per stepdaughter. My husband went there, observed damage and called the police. The police checked the damage & then stopped the mother (with stepdaughter & her sister in car) as she tried to leave. They administered all the field tests, then arrested her. Did breath test at station. .274 result. Mom's attorney has filed motion to suppress. Is that typical/expected? Did Police have enough cause to stop her? Charges were Endangering Children, OVI (regular and high tier), Reasonable Control. What are her chances of getting out of any/all charges?

Attorney Answers 3


All the police need to stop a vehicle is an articulable suspicion that a crime has occurred. The information that you relayed to the police and their verification of that information certainly would give the police the right to make an investigatory stop of her vehicle. Her chances are somewhere between slim and none, but her attorney is doing the right thing by testing the basis for the stop, regardless of the chance of success.

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A good DUI/OVI attorney will challenge the "tip" or "tips," and the reasonable articulable suspicion to remove the woman from her car to administer field tests. A good DUI/OVI attorney will challenge the administration and validity of the field tests. A good DUI/OVI attorney will do everything to show that the test was improper and/or that the machine was not calibrated properly and/or that the machine was malfunctioning and/or that the breath test was improper for other reasons. Most of these challenges are raised in a Motion to Suppress and is the proper method for challenging all aspects of the arrest. Prosecuting a DUI case is a challenge because of the multiple issues and it is not uncommon for the case to be resolved in a negotiated agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant. Bad facts don't always mean a conviction.

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There are a lot of issues in this fact pattern and without knowing how she "really" performed on the field tests and what the calibration records for the breathalyzer show, it's hard to say what her chances of getting out of it are.

Filing a motion to suppress is very normal in most of my cases. If a DUI/OVI defendant in Ohio wants to challange the admissibility of field or breath tests, it must be done via a motion to suppress.

Did the officer file the child endangering charge in the same court as the OVI or was it filed in the county juvenile court?

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