Was There Reasonable Suspicion for the Stop?

If, after you get the video and you see that there was no impaired driving on the video and that the person otherwise passed the field sobriety test, there’s an argument that can be made that there was no reasonable purpose for the arrest.

Another interesting factor is there has to be an arrest. Many times people are involved in an accident and they get taken to the emergency room. They’re not handcuffed to the gurney. They just go in the emergency room and they get up the next morning and they find the Administrative License Suspension form and they’re closed.

For the Suspension to Be Upheld There Must Be an Arrest of the Driver

That suspension is improper because there was no arrest. There has to be an arrest.

Interviewer: Do you ever have to involve experts like toxicologists or individuals of that nature?

Dale Naticchia: Not on a BMV case but frankly when there’s a blood draw they are needed. Usually when there’s a blood draw, there’s very frequently errors with the way the blood is drawn, stored, handled, labeled. There’s a very strict chain of evidence that has to be followed with blood tests and many times those protocols aren’t followed.

In the BMV Hearing, Some Defenses That Might Be Used during the Court Case Are Not Applicable Administratively

Interviewer: My understanding in court cases is that many lawyers will ask a client if they have any medical history or some sort of medical ailment. This is because that may help them with their case in regards to a Breathalyzer results.

Dale Naticchia: It certainly may.

Interviewer: Would that be the case with the BMV also? Do they look at those things as well? If so, what sorts of ailments would you give me an example of?

Dale Naticchia: It doesn’t matter if the machine was improperly calibrated. It didn’t matter if the client was asthmatic and on Albuterol which can give a false result. Even though that’s a defense to the criminal case; it is not to the Administrative License Suspension.

It basically comes down to the fact you blew over the legal limit or refused the test; we’re taking your license. Mind you, if you beat the case down the road, the court will terminate that Administrative License Suspension when the case is over.

Interviewer: Have you seen any patterns in recent years amongst men and women? Have you seen maybe an increase in men or an increase in women receiving drunk-driving charges?

Dale Naticchia: I think that it’s for many years now it’s been pretty evenly divided. I think it’s been fifty-fifty all along; it’s not more men than women.

The Majority of Police Stops for Suspected Drunk-Drivers Occur after Midnight

Interviewer: Are there any specific times of the day that OVI’s occur?

Dale Naticchia: Most occur after midnight.

Interviewer: Are there special events in Ohio that occur where you’ll notice an increase of OVIs that are issued? Is there something every year that you prepare yourself for?

The Cleveland, Ohio Are Has Hired Additional State Troopers to Increase the Patrols, Resulting in a Rising Number of OVI Charges

Dale Naticchia: Not really, but as of recent, in the general, the Cleveland area has hired an additional 200 troopers, state troopers.

They have nothing to do. Their only job is to ticket people. So the OVI’s have been on the rise in Northeast Ohio.

Interviewer: How do they usually stop them? What are they observing? Are they looking at someone that’s swerving on the road or looking at someone that’s pulled over?

People in Their Late Teens and Early 20s Are Likely to Be Targeted as a Suspected Drunk-Driver

Dale Naticchia: First of all there’s the hour. Second of all I do believe that they do look at, is the person young? Then they get behind you. They start following you. I’ve watched a lot of these videos. They’ll follow somebody for a long ways before they see an infraction and then they’ll pull them over.

Interviewer: They’re just waiting for that right opportunity. It reminds me of when a police officer once did a conference and he was saying, “If you give me five minutes and I’m following you for five minutes, I will find a reason to pull you over.”

Dale Naticchia: They’re allowed to do that.

Interviewer:  I’m close to the Austin area and it’s a college town so there’s a lot of college students. I believe there might be a lot of DUI’s that occur there. I remember when I used to get stopped a lot when I had a truck. The officers told me that I did an incomplete stop at a stop sign.

Some Police Stops Appear to Be for Inconsequential Reasons, Such as Touching the Fog Line, Which Actually Is Not a Traffic Infraction

Dale Naticchia: Have you ever heard about touching the white fog line? You know that line to the right, that solid stripe? You’ve touched it several times. I’ve had many cases thrown out because of that. That you’re still within your lane and there’s no lane violation.

You’re still within the lane and the state troopers here look for anything. If you’re young they’re going to get you.

After an Arrest, the Police Are Permitted to Conduct a Vehicle Inventory Search Except in locked Areas of the Vehicle, Such as the Trunk

Interviewer: What can you tell me about illegal search and seizures?

Dale Naticchia: Once there’s been an arrest they can always search your vehicle. They call it an inventory search to protect the officers in case anybody claims that there’s something missing.

Interviewer: Are they allowed to do this, though, if an officer pulls you over?

Dale Naticchia: Once there’s an arrest they can.  I would say that they can’t search the trunk.    Since that compartment is locked, there’s no reason to search the trunk since you can’t claim somebody’s going to steal something from the trunk.

An Open Container Infraction Is Not Serious but Typically Leads to a OVI Investigation

Interviewer: What are the open bottle rules?

Dale Naticchia: An open container is illegal in a car. Of course it’s not that serious of a crime, an open container. But they always use it as reasonable suspicion or probable cause to get you out of the car to do the field sobriety test. Mind you, most people cannot do the field sobriety tests on their best day. Those tests are so unfair.

By Dale Naticchia