Doing Well On Field Sobriety Tests Does Not Stop Arrests - DUI News - 5/7/2016

Passing two field sobriety tests is not enough to stop an OVI arrest, when other factors are sufficient to establish probable cause.

State v. Blackburn, 2016 Ohio 2674 (5th Dist).

April 21, 2016

Blackburn was behind another car that had been pulled over when he stopped.  The trooper told Blackburn to keep going, at which point Blackburn pulled forward and asked if there was a problem.  The trooper smelled alcohol and instructed Blackburn to pull over.  The trial court denied his motion to suppress based on an argument of a lack of probable cause. 

On appeal, Blackburn argued that he exhibit only two clues on the walk and turn test and one clue on the one leg stand test, such that "Trooper McMunn testified that he agreed that based on his performance on the one leg stand alone, appellant would not likely test over the legal limit."  The Fifth District denied his appeal, however, finding that there were other factors that supported probable cause, including Blackburn's initial stop, pulling up to the trooper after being directed to go, the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, red and glassy eyes, admitting he drank three beers, displaying six out of six clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and registering .124 on a portable breath test.