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Courts and Crime

Cleveland Councilman Reed's DUI trial will continue next week
Day two wrapped up with police and attorneys arguing over Listerine and the results of field sobriety tests


Kevin Niedermier
Zack Reed (R) confers with his attorneys during his drunk driving trial. The trial will continue Monday.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

The DUI trial of Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed will continue into next week. In day two Friday, prosecutors put another arresting officer on the stand. Patrolman Justin Davis told the jury Reed had been drinking before being pulled over for alleged traffic violations early on the morning of March 5th.

Reed accused the officers of waiting for him to leave a bar so they could stop him, a charge police deny. His attorneys asked why a squad-car recording shows the officer being surprised and agitated after learning who they’d stopped. Davis says the reaction was out of concern over pulling over his first elected official.

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“I don’t want my supervisors to get any complaints, I don’t want any paperwork done on me. I spent 12 years in the Marine Corp and don’t have a blemish on my record, and that’s how I want to keep my police record.  So now I’m dealing with an elected position.”

Davis says he was a big fan of Reed’s because the councilman had backed the police when the city starting laying-off officers, including himself. Reed says he only had two beers that night and was not too drunk to drive. 

Experts projected the trial would wrap up today, but the defense now says it plans to call Reed himself on Monday. The councilman’s license was suspended because he refused to take a Breathalyzer test and failed three field sobriety tests. Reed’s attorneys say he refused the test because he’s used Listerine before being stopped, and believed that could cause a false positive. Police say that could only happen if he used the mouthwash twenty minutes before the test, which he hadn’t. Reed was offered the options of blood and urine tests instead, which he also refused. 

He was convicted of drunken driving in 2005, and served some jail time and went to rehab for his second offense in 2008.

Reed has admitted he has an alcohol problem, and he faces up to six months in jail plus house arrest if convicted.

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