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State v. Kopp

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking

June 19, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
DANE V. KOPP Defendant-Appellee

         Appeal from the Licking County Municipal Court, Case No. 16TRC09547

          For Plaintiff-Appellant: J. MICHAEL KING

          For Defendant-Appellee: LISA M. TOME

          Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Delaney, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant State of Ohio appeals from the November 9, 2016 Judgment Entry of the Licking County Municipal Court granting the motion to suppress of appellee Dane V. Kopp.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶2} The following evidence is adduced from the suppression hearing and from the DVD of the traffic stop of appellee (appellant's Exhibit 3).

         {¶3} This case arose on September 11, 2016 when Trooper Myers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was monitoring traffic on midnight shift. Around 2:52 a.m., Myers observed a maroon Ford F-150 driven by appellee in the area of Union Street and Wehrle Avenue in Newark. A rear license-plate light on the truck was out but Myers could read the plate because it was illuminated by his headlights. Myers ran the license plate of the vehicle and discovered an expired Ohio license in the name of the registered owner.

         {¶4} Myers activated his overhead lights. No traffic violations were observed as the truck proceeded on the roadway and pulled over into a parking lot.

         {¶5} Myers approached the vehicle and spoke to the driver and sole occupant, appellee, who showed him a valid Georgia operator's license. Myers testified that upon speaking to appellee, he smelled the odor of fresh marijuana emanating from the vehicle, and also the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. He asked appellee whether he had been smoking marijuana and appellee admitted that he had done so earlier. Myers asked if he had anything to drink but didn't hear appellee's response. He noted appellee's eyes were "very glassy" and "somewhat bloodshot."

         {¶6} Myers asked appellee to exit the vehicle and he did so without incident.

          {¶7} Myers patted appellee down and no contraband was discovered. The trooper then asked appellee to submit to a series of standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests; appellee complied. Myers first asked appellee to sit on the hood of his cruiser to perform the eye-related tests because appellee is unusually tall (6'10) and Myers needed to be at eye level. Appellee sat on the hood of the cruiser without incident.

         {¶8} Myers testified to his training and experience in utilizing the standardized field sobriety tests; he has been trained in accordance with the NHTSA manual and has ADAP- and ARIDE-certified training in apprehension of impaired drivers. Myers explained the instructions for each standardized field sobriety test and described appellee's performance. He observed appellee's pupils were dilated. On the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), Myers observed two clues in appellee's left eye. On the walk-and-turn test, Myers observed three clues: appellee moved his feet to keep ...


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