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Ohio Supreme Court Sides with Police Officer's Testimony in Drugged Driving Case

photo of Supreme Court bench
DAN KONIK
A police officer said that Clinton Richardson was impaired and going through opiate withdrawal when the man rear-ended his car.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled an experienced police officer’s testimony is sufficient to prove a driver was under the influence of drugs. 

The ruling comes from a 2012 case in Dayton, when Clinton Richardson rear ended a car.

A police officer noticed Richardson’s slurred speech and conducted field sobriety tests. Richardson failed those and refused to provide a blood sample. Richardson said he had run out of pain killers and was going through opiate withdrawal at the time of the crash. He was convicted of OVI.

An appeals court ruled while there was evidence he was driving while impaired, there wasn’t evidence that it was caused by drugs.

The Ohio Supreme Court has overturned that decision, saying the testimony of the experienced police officer is sufficient to prove drugged driving impairment in this case.