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Wrong DUI standards earn Ohio woman her day in court

columbus DUI lawyer

Turning charges around with a dedicated DUI lawyer

A 2011 drunk driving case in Elyria municipal court will get new life after an Ohio Supreme Court decision.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, an Elyria Municipal Court judge improperly dismissed a motion to suppress evidence for lack of particularity.

The nearly-unanimous decision was prompted when Corrine Codeluppi’s attorneys raised questions about how the field sobriety tests were given by the North Ridgeville police officer who pulled her over.

Columbus DUI lawyer

The tests were improper, Codeluppi’s lawyers argued, because the common practice of videoing DUI tests wasn’t followed. The defense also asked that statements Codeluppi made not be used against her.

Prosecutors countered that because the defense didn’t explain in detail how the officer had violated standards for administering field sobriety tests, the motion should be thrown out.

The judge agreed with the prosecution, denying the motion to suppress evidence. Codeluppi pleaded no contest to DUI and was fined $600 and ordered to serve three days in a driver’s intervention program.

Now, the judge is under orders to hold a hearing on the defense motion to suppress to determine the admissibility of the prosecution evidence. While the results of the case won’t be known until it is assessed again, the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision cements the fact that the burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defense, when anyone is charged with DUI.

There is no need for defense attorneys to explain their basis in “excruciating detail,” Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote in the decision. “The question is whether the language used provides sufficient notice to the state.”

The Supreme Court determined that Codeluppi’s attorneys had met that burden by explaining there were concerns about the arrest, especially that there wasn’t police video.

The Supreme Court decision doesn’t guarantee that the evidence will be suppressed, Griffin said, but it will reverse Codeluppi’s conviction and allow her lawyers the chance to argue their position in court.

What to expect if you’re pulled over for a DUI

If you find yourself in the same spot as Codeluppis, here is a quick rundown of what you should know about DUI in Ohio (usually referred to here as OVI — Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated):

  • The legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08 percent (.02 percent if you are under 21, and .04 percent for commercial drivers).
  • Refusing to take a chemical blood alcohol test will earn you a fine and an immediate license suspension. This is due to the so-called implied consent law, which states that by procuring a drivers license, you are automatically agreeing to submit to a chemical BAC test on demand.
  • Penalties for OVI include jail time of at least three days (more for higher BAC results and repeat offenses), mandatory Driver Intervention Programs, license suspension of six months to five years.
  • Repeat offenses can bring up to six months in jail, vehicle immobilization, electronic home monitoring, and mandatory alcohol treatment program.

Columbus DUI attorney

Protect yourself with a dedicated DUI lawyer

If youre charged with a DUI/OVI, you should seek the services of attorneys who have extensive experience defending similar offenses. The lawyers at the Columbus Ohio criminal defense firm of Yavitch & Palmer Co., LPA are highly skilled in handling these cases, beginning with an analysis of any illegality in the initial detention that might lead to dismissal of the charges.


Learn more about Stephen Palmer and his 19 years of Columbus criminal defense experience.

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