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State v. Leder

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Clermont

July 15, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Appellee,
v.
BRADLEY R. LEDER, Appellant.

          CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM CLERMONT COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT Case No. 2018TRC7515

          D. Vincent Faris, Clermont County Prosecuting Attorney, Nicholas A. Horton, 76 South Riverside Drive, Batavia, Ohio 45103, for appellee

          W. Stephen Haynes, Clermont County Public Defender, Robert F. Benintendi, 301 East Main Street, Batavia, Ohio 45103, for appellant

          OPINION

          S. POWELL, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Bradley R. Leder, appeals the decision of the Clermont County Municipal Court denying his motion to suppress. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} On May 29, 2018, a complaint was filed charging Leder with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in violation of both R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(a) and (A)(1)(d). The complaint also charged Leder with two "turn signal violations" for failing to properly use his turn signal in violation of R.C. 4511.39(A). The charges arose after Trooper Haggerty with the Ohio State Highway Patrol initiated a traffic stop of Leder's vehicle after he observed Leder commit what he believed was at least one, if not more, traffic violations; namely, Leder's failure to properly use his turn signal in violation of R.C. 4511.39(A) on two separate occasions, as well as a marked lane violation in violation of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1). Leder later submitted to a breath-alcohol test that indicated he had a breath-alcohol-content of .150.

         {¶ 3} On July 24, 2018, Leder filed a motion to suppress. In support of his motion, Leder argued Trooper Haggerty lacked a reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop of his vehicle. The trial court held a hearing on Leder's motion on September 4, 2018. The lone witness to testify at the suppression hearing was Trooper Haggerty. Trooper Haggerty's testimony was supplemented by a video recording of the traffic stop taken from Trooper Haggerty's cruiser camera. The following is a summary of Trooper Haggerty's testimony and evidence taken from that video recording.

         {¶ 4} On May 28, 2018 at 4:03 a.m., Trooper Haggerty was parked perpendicular to I-275 looking east across all three lanes of northbound traffic near Union Township, Clermont County, Ohio. At that time, Trooper Haggerty observed a vehicle pass his cruiser traveling nine miles per hour below the posted 65 mile per hour speed limit. The vehicle caught Trooper Haggerty's attention due to the vehicles' "slow rate of speed." It is undisputed that Leder was the driver of the vehicle in question.

         {¶ 5} Approximately 15 seconds after observing Leder's pass, Trooper Haggerty pulled his cruiser onto I-275 and began following Leder northbound towards the exit ramp from I-275 to State Route 125. Upon his approach to the exit ramp, Trooper Haggerty testified that he witnessed Leder change lanes without properly using his turn signal in violation of R.C. 4511.39(A). Pursuant to that statute, "[w]hen required, a signal of intention to turn or move right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle[.]" Specifically, as Trooper Haggerty testified:

So there's three lanes on the interstate, there's three lanes and then there's an off ramp to 125 so he merges onto the off ramp and then turns his turn signal on late; if he used it properly he would have to use his turn signal on 100 feet prior to changing lanes or turning right.

         {¶ 6} Similarly, when asked if it was his "perception" that Leder was already in the exit lane when he used his turn signal, Trooper Haggerty testified:

Yes, he already changed lanes and then turned his turn signal on. It would be the same as if I'm in the left lane then I turn in the right and I'm in the right lane and then I go and flick my turn signal on.

Trooper Haggerty testified he witnessed Leder commit this traffic violation from approximately 900 to 1, 000 feet behind Leder's vehicle.

         {¶ 7} Upon exiting onto the off ramp from I-275 to State Route 125, Trooper Haggerty observed Leder travel down the exit ramp towards a red traffic light. Trooper Haggerty testified he then watched as Leder "rolls through the red light, he doesn't blow it but he slightly rolls through it" before making a right hand turn onto State Route 125. Similar to Leder changing lanes from I-275 onto the exit ramp to State Route 125, Trooper Haggerty testified Leder made this right hand turn onto State Route 125 "and as he's making it he turns his right turn signal on late again[.]" The video recording taken from Trooper Haggerty's cruiser camera confirms this testimony.

         {¶ 8} Trooper Haggerty testified he then witnessed Leder commit what he believed was a marked lane violation when "his right two tires touch the white dotted line to the right of the vehicle." Pursuant to R.C. 4511.33(A)(1), "[a] vehicle * * * shall be driven, as nearly as is practicable, entirely within a single lane or line of traffic[.]" As Trooper Haggerty testified while watching the video recording taken from his cruiser camera:

Q: Okay, thank you, stop [the video recording]. I guess I missed it, I didn't see any marked lanes violation there, did you, Officer?
A: I did, sir.
Q: Where did you see it?
A: His right two tires touched the white dotted line, doesn't go over the line, it just touches them.
Q: You were able to see that from your ...

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