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State v. Guffey

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Auglaize

August 21, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CAMERON GUFFEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Appeal from Auglaize County Municipal Court Trial Court No. 2016 TRC 6417

          Robert C. Wiesenmayer, II for Appellant

          Nick A. Catania for Appellee

          OPINION

          ZIMMERMAN, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Cameron Guffey ("Guffey"), brings this appeal from the March 3, 2017 judgment of the Auglaize County Municipal Court convicting him of operation of a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration ("OVI"), in violation of R.C. 4511.1(A)(1)(d), after a plea of no contest to this charge. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} On October 2, 2016, at approximately 1:40 a.m., Patrolman Jordan Reineke ("Patrolman Reineke"), was on patrol when he observed the 2002 Oldsmobile driven by Guffey and noticed the passenger side headlight out on the vehicle. (Tr. 3). Patrolman Reineke turned his car around to follow Guffey. Patrolman Reineke followed Guffey as he made several turns and eventually signaled for Guffey to pull over. Patrolman Reineke interpreted Guffey's many turns as an attempt to evade him.

         {¶3} Patrolman Reineke approached Guffey's vehicle, informed him of the reason for the stop, and asked Guffey for his license, registration and proof of insurance. During his initial contact with Guffey, Patrolman Reineke detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside Guffey's vehicle. (Id.). Patrolman Reineke asked Guffey if he had anything to drink that night and Guffey admitted to consuming three to four beers. (Id.).

         {¶4} At this time, Patrolman Reineke had Guffey recite the alphabet starting at the letter "D" and ending at the letter "Q". (Id.). Next, Patrolman Reineke asked Guffey to count backwards from 27 to 11. (Tr. 4). Guffey was unable to successfully complete these tasks. (Id.). Patrolman Reineke then asked Guffey to exit his vehicle for additional field sobriety tests, to which Guffey refused. (Id.). Based on Guffey's evasive driving, the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his vehicle, his admission to consuming three to four alcoholic beverages, and his refusal to submit to additional field sobriety tests, Patrolman Reineke determined Guffey to be impaired and placed him under arrest for OVI.

         {¶5} After being transported to the Auglaize County Jail, Guffey agreed to submit to a breath test. Patrolman Reineke read Guffey the BMV form 2255. After the requisite twenty-minute observation period, Patrolman Reineke requested Patrolman Clark to administer a breathalyzer test on Guffey. A valid sample was obtained and the test produced a result of .118 of one gram by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath, indicating that the concentration of alcohol detected in Guffey's breath exceeded the legal limit. (State's Ex. A).

         {¶6} Guffey was charged with OVI, in violation of 4511.19(A)(1)(a), operation of a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration, in violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(d), and failure to illuminate both headlights, in violation of R.C. 4513.04. Guffey entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.

         {¶7} On November 10, 2016 Guffey filed a motion to suppress challenging whether probable cause existed for his arrest and whether Patrolman Reineke exercised the twenty-minute observation period prior to obtaining a breath sample from Guffey.

         {¶8} On January 6, 2017, a hearing was held on Guffey's motion to suppress. The video of the stop was introduced as evidence as well as the testimony of Patrolman Reineke. On January 13, 2017, the trial court issued its judgment entry overruling the motion. A jury trial was set for February 13, 2017, which was rescheduled to March 13, 2017. However, upon Guffey's request, on March 3, 2017 the trial court accepted his plea of no contest to the charge of OVI, in violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(d), and dismissed the other charges.

         {¶9} The trial court sentenced Guffey to twenty days in jail, suspending all twenty days, and imposed a fine of $375. The trial court also suspended Guffey's driver's license for six ...


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