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State v. Boyd

Supreme Court of Ohio
Jun 26, 1985
18 Ohio St. 3d 30 (Ohio 1985)

Summary

In State v. Boyd (1985), 18 Ohio St.3d 30, 18 OBR 68, 479 N.E.2d 850, the Supreme Court held that evidence that the defendant was intoxicated was irrelevant to a charge that he had operated a vehicle with a concentration of ten hundreds of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath.

Summary of this case from State v. Hamrick

Opinion

No. 84-860

Decided June 26, 1985.

Criminal law — Motor vehicles — Driving while intoxicated — Evidence necessary to convict — Relevancy.

O.Jur 3d Criminal Law § 2240.

In order to sustain a conviction under R.C. 4511.19(A)(3), there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was operating a vehicle within this state and that at the time he had a concentration of ten-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his breath. The relevant evidence is limited to that evidence having any tendency to make the existence of either or both of these facts more probable or less probable.

APPEAL from the Court of Appeals for Richland County.

The defendant-appellee, Arthur L. Boyd, came on for trial in the Municipal Court of Mansfield, charged with a violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(3), operating a vehicle with a concentration of ten-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath. The prosecution presented evidence as to appellee's arrest and the administration and result of an intoxilyzer test. The trial court barred appellee from offering evidence either through cross-examination or direct examination which related to his manner of driving, physical coordination, conduct, speech, and other matters. Testimony of a defense witness, Linda Mosley, was proffered. If Mosley had been permitted to testify, she would have stated, among other things, that, at all times pertinent to the charge, the appellee walked in a normal manner, that his speech was normal, and that at all times he was not under the influence of alcohol. The appellee proffered that at all times pertinent to his arrest, he was not under the influence of alcohol. The jury returned a verdict of guilty and the court imposed a fine of $500 plus costs, three-days' confinement in the county jail, and suspension of appellee's driver's license for a period of one year. The sentence was suspended on condition that the appellee have no like violations for one year and attend a jail-alternate program. The driver's license suspension after the first sixty days was also stayed on the foregoing conditions.

Appellee filed a timely appeal with the Court of Appeals for Richland County. The court of appeals reversed the conviction and remanded the cause to the trial court for further proceedings according to law, ruling that the trial court had denied the accused his constitutional right to present evidence in his defense by failing to permit him to show his conduct surrounding the events in question as they tended to shed light upon the truth of the claim that his breath alcohol level was too high. The court of appeals reasoned that whether or not the appellee, in effect, acted drunk tended to have some persuasive relationship to the issue of whether or not the charge was true that his breath alcohol level was too high.

The cause is now before this court pursuant to the allowance of a motion for leave to appeal.

Reese F. Mills, law director, and Lawrence F. Miller, for appellant.

Inscore, Rinehardt Whitney and John R. Enderle, for appellee.


R.C. 4511.19(A)(3) reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

"(A) No person shall operate any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley within this state if any of the following apply:

"* * *

"(3) The person has a concentration of ten-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his breath;"

If the state is to be successful in the prosecution of a person charged with the violation of the preceding section, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the essential elements of the crime. State v. Nolton (1969), 19 Ohio St.2d 133 [48 O.O.2d 119]. Accordingly, in order to sustain a conviction under R.C. 4511.19(A)(3), there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellee was operating a vehicle within this state and that at the time he had a concentration of ten-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his breath.

These two facts are the only facts of consequence to the case. Thus, the relevant evidence is limited to that evidence having any tendency to make the existence of either or both of those two facts more probable or less probable. Standing alone, appellee's appearance, manner of speech and walking, and lack of any symptoms of intoxication are not relevant evidence and, therefore, not admissible.

The judgment of the court of appeals is reversed.

Judgment reversed.

CELEBREZZE, C.J., HOLMES, C. BROWN, DOUGLAS and WRIGHT, JJ., concur.

LOCHER, J., concurs in judgment only.

O'NEILL, J., of the Seventh Appellate District, sitting for SWEENEY, J.


Summaries of

State v. Boyd

Supreme Court of Ohio
Jun 26, 1985
18 Ohio St. 3d 30 (Ohio 1985)

In State v. Boyd (1985), 18 Ohio St.3d 30, 18 OBR 68, 479 N.E.2d 850, the Supreme Court held that evidence that the defendant was intoxicated was irrelevant to a charge that he had operated a vehicle with a concentration of ten hundreds of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath.

Summary of this case from State v. Hamrick
Case details for

State v. Boyd

Case Details

Full title:THE STATE OF OHIO, APPELLANT, v. BOYD, APPELLEE

Court:Supreme Court of Ohio

Date published: Jun 26, 1985

Citations

18 Ohio St. 3d 30 (Ohio 1985)
479 N.E.2d 850

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