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State v. Martin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

May 2, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
JOSEPH MARTIN Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE STOW MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 2016TRC9516

          HECTOR G. MARTINEZ, JR., and LESLIE S. JOHNS, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.

          AMBER K. ZIBRITOSKY, Law Director, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN JUDGE.

         {¶1} Defendant-Appellant, Joseph Martin, appeals from the judgment of the Stow Municipal Court, denying his motions to suppress. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Late one evening, Officer Max Westfall responded to Akron-Peninsula Road based on a report that a female had jumped from a moving car. Upon his arrival, he found Mr. Martin on the roadside next to the injured female, who had been the only passenger in the car Mr. Martin had been driving. Officer Westfall spoke with Mr. Martin and detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person. Because he also detected several other indicia of impairment and Mr. Martin admitted that he had been drinking, he asked Mr. Martin to submit to field sobriety testing and a portable breath test. Mr. Martin, however, refused both tests. Based on the strong odor of alcohol he detected, the other indicia of impairment he observed, Mr. Martin's admission to drinking alcohol, and his refusal to undergo sobriety tests, Officer Westfall then arrested Mr. Martin.

         {¶3} After arresting Mr. Martin, Officer Westfall transported him to the Richfield Police Department so that a breath test could be administered. Mr. Martin initially refused to take that test as well, but agreed after Officer Westfall and another officer explained the consequences that could result from his refusal. It was then determined that Mr. Martin had a blood alcohol level of .172.

         {¶4} Mr. Martin was charged with two counts of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol ("OVI"), in violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(a) and 4511.19(A)(1)(h). He filed several motions to suppress, and the court held a hearing on his motions. Following the hearing, the court denied the motions, and Mr. Martin pleaded no contest to the charges. The court sentenced him to 90 days in jail, a year of community control, a fine, and a license suspension.

         {¶5} Mr. Martin now appeals and raises one assignment of error for this Court's review.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF APPELLANT BY DENYING HIS MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE.

         {¶6} In his sole assignment of error, Mr. Martin argues that the trial court erred by denying his motions to suppress. He argues that his motions had merit because Officer Westfall lacked reasonable suspicion to detain him for field sobriety testing, lacked probable cause to arrest him, and implied coercive tactics when obtaining his consent to submit to a ...


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