STOP CONVICTING INNOCENT PEOPLE OF OVI!

Now there is a bill before the Ohio Legislature to authorize the placing of an interlock device on any vehicle being driven by someone who has been convicted of drinking and driving, even one time. Haven't we spent way too much time creating draconian laws to deal with this topic? Having spent over 40 years in the practice of law dealing with these types of cases, unfortunately, I am not able to advise a client to what extent this legislation applies to his case. The laws dealing with drinking and driving are so convoluted that, unless we spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing the statutes applying to each particular case, we can no longer advise a client what penalties he is facing. The primary drinking driving statute has been expanded from one simple paragraph to many pages of legislation.

Why is this? Is it to curb drunken driving? Absolutely not! The laws are plenty harsh enough to do that and the public attention given to the issue does so as well. More legislation in this area is being proposed for only one reason: to promote the personal agendas of those who are advocating it. This has become a cottage industry. Each year more and more laws are advocated to create personal publicity for those who propose them, not to curb improper conduct.

Meanwhile, the testing procedures are scientifically unsound, causing innocent people to be convicted of crimes they did not commit. There has been discussion in the public arena about "frivolous" lawsuits. The most frivolous lawsuits in our justice system, in my humble opinion, are those against our citizens who are charged with drinking and driving based upon a phony breath test which no scientist in the world would support. However, in Ohio our Supreme Court will not allow juries to know the truth about the frivolity of breath testing.

So how about less laws and more accurate testing to convict the guilty and acquit those who committed no crime.