Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor BY: Gregory J. Ochocki Assistant County
APPELLEE James Varholick, pro se
BEFORE: Jones, J., McCormack, P.J., and E.T. Gallagher, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. JONES, SR., J.
This cause came to be heard upon the accelerated calendar
pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and LocR. 11.1, the trial court
records and briefs of counsel.
Plaintiff-appellant, the state of Ohio, appeals the trial
court's decision to restore driving privileges to
defendant-appellee, James Varholick. We reverse.
In 2009, Varholick pleaded guilty to operation while under
the influence of alcohol ("OVI"), in violation of
R.C. 4511.19(A)(1). The offense was a third-degree felony
pursuant to R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(e) because Varholick had
multiple prior OVI convictions. The trial court sentenced
Varholick to four years in prison to run consecutive to
another OVI case and imposed a lifetime driver's license
suspension. This court affirmed his conviction. State v.
Varholick, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 94187, 2010-Ohio-5132.
In April 2016, the trial court granted Varholick limited
driving privileges over the state's objection and limited
his driving privileges to work and medical appointments. In
December 2016, Varholick petitioned the trial court to
reinstate his license without restrictions, pursuant to R.C.
4510.028, which the state opposed. The trial court did not
hold a hearing on the matter but reinstated Varholick's
driving privileges in May 2017.
The state moved for leave to appeal, which this court
granted. The state assigns two errors for our review:
I. The trial court erred when it granted the termination of a
lifetime driver's license suspension pursuant to R.C.
4510.038 when the suspension was imposed pursuant to R.C.
II. The trial court erred when it granted appellee's
motion to modify or terminate his lifetime driver's
license suspension before the fifteen year waiting period set
forth in R.C. 4510.54 had elapsed and without first holding a
In the first assignment of error, the state claims that the
trial court erred when it terminated Varholick's
previously imposed lifetime driver's license suspension
pursuant to R.C. 4510.038.
Varholick moved to have his license reinstated under R.C.
4510.038, the statute that governs the conditions for the
return of full driving privileges and provides that an
offender whose driver's license has been suspended,
or, any offender who is granted limited driving
privileges under R.C. 4510.37, 4511.19 or 4510.07, is not
eligible to have his or her driving privileges reinstated
until that person has (1) successfully completed a course of
remedial driving instruction approved by the director of
public safety; (2) been examined in the manner provided for
by R.C. 4507.20 and found by ...