Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking
from the Licking County Municipal Court, Case No 16-TRC-2369.
Plaintiff-Appellee: DOUGLAS SASSEN, NEWARK CITY LAW DIRECTOR,
Defendant-Appellant: SAMUEL H. SHAMANSKY, COLIN E. PETERS.
Patricia A Delaney, P.J., Hon W Scott Gwin, J., Hon William B
Appellant Bryan Holbrook appeals from the July 28, 2015
Judgment of Conviction of the Licking County Municipal Court.
Appellee is the state of Ohio.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The following facts are adduced from the record of
appellant's jury trial before the Licking County
Municipal Court. Appellee introduced a video of the traffic
stop as State's Exhibit 1.
This case arose on March 20, 2016 around 2:30 a.m. in Union
Township, Delaware County when Trooper Jarrod Myers of the
Ohio State Highway Patrol observed a blue Ford Explorer
drifting in its lane. Myers described the vehicle as
"bouncing back and forth" in the lane. He pulled up
for a closer look while the vehicle was still in a
35-mile-per-hour zone and observed three distinct lane
violation clues in which the Explorer touched the yellow
As the Explorer entered a 55-mile-per-hour zone, it sped up
to 65 miles per hour. Myers activated his radar and paced the
vehicle at 66 miles per hour for one mile. During this time
the Explorer continued to drift in its lane, touching the
center line and the fog line multiple times. Myers observed a
distinct left-of-center violation just past Canal Road and
initiated a traffic stop. The Explorer continued a short
distance before stopping, longer than average in Myers'
Myers radioed dispatch to advise of the stop and approached
the Explorer on the driver's side. He identified
appellant as the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle.
Appellant's window was down upon Myers' approach and
the trooper noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage
emanating from the vehicle. Myers asked appellant why he was
speeding and appellant apologized. Myers requested his
operator's license, registration, and proof of insurance;
appellant produced those items and a police I.D. card. Myers
asked appellant how much he had to drink and appellant
responded a "few beers." Appellant's eyes were
bloodshot and glassy. Myers asked when he last had something
to drink and appellant did not answer. Myers apologized and
told appellant he would have to ask him to exit the vehicle
to be "checked." Myers testified he felt
uncomfortable because appellant had shown the police I.D. and
Myers was aware he was investigating a police
officer. However, based upon the clues he had
already observed, Myers felt he had no choice but to
Appellant took longer than average to exit the vehicle and
"just sat there" for a few moments.
Myers proceeded to administer a series of standardized field
sobriety tests, beginning with the horizontal gaze nystagmus
test (H.G.N.). Appellant had difficulty following the
stimulus and kept moving his head, requiring Myers to restart
portions of the test. Myers observed a lack of smooth pursuit
in each eye, distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum
deviation, and onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees. In
other words, Myers noted six out of a possible six clues of
Myers moved on to administer the walk-and-turn test;
appellant moved his feet to keep balance. After Myers'
instructions and demonstration of the test were complete,
appellant paused and stated he didn't want to complete
the test. Myers decided not to offer the one-leg stand test.
Instead, he asked appellant to complete a divided attention
test by stating the alphabet from D to W. Appellant said D,
D, F, G, H, and then A to ...