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Woman allowed to have her motion to suppress heard in DUI case

It is often worthwhile for a driver to pursue challenges for a DUI even after the court has brought back a conviction. In one matter, a woman prevailed in such a challenge when the case was taken all of the way to the Supreme Court in the state where she resided.

The woman was charged with driving while intoxicated and speeding as the result of a traffic stop in August 2011. A police officer had conducted three field sobriety tests concerning this woman following the traffic stop, but there was no video recording made available of either the tests or the traffic stop. The woman contended that the field sobriety tests were not conducted in accordance with national standards. However, the trial court rejected her motion to have evidence gathered during the traffic stop suppressed.

The question with regards to this motion to suppress as addressed by the state’s Supreme Court concerned just how much detail the woman needed to provide. The justice writing the majority opinion stated that “excruciating detail” was not needed in making the motion. The motion only needed to be sufficient “to have the state meet its legislatively mandated burden of demonstrating compliance with any and all challenged regulations and requirements.” There was one dissenting judge concerning this matter.

The trying of DUI cases can often require the understanding of court rules and procedures that most individuals arrested do not have. It takes experienced DUI defense attorneys to understand what kinds of evidence can and cannot be challenged.

It must be remembered that the above case is not over.  It will instead be returned to the trial court to decide upon this matter in light of the higher court’s ruling.

Source: Cleveland.com, “Ohio Supreme Court overturns drunken driving charge, says Elyria court erred in dispute over evidence,” Robert Higgs, April 17, 2014

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