In a unanimous decision, the Ohio Supreme Court allowed a challenge to Daniel Ilg’s breath-alcohol test results. (City of Cincinnati v. Daniel Ilg) In the 7-0 decision affirming the ruling of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, located in Hamilton County, the Ohio Supreme Court agreed with the First District that the State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Health failed to provide the defense relevant and material court-ordered information that Mr. Ilg was entitled to for his defense. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s sanction of throwing out the breath test evidence. In upholding the trial court’s decision, the Ohio Supreme Court concluded that Mr. Ilg possesses a constitutional right to obtain the information gathered by the specific Intoxilyzer machine, in order to determine whether the machine was functioning properly.
Attorney Steve Adams explained, “It is Mr. Ilg’s right to obtain material and relevant evidence from the Ohio Department of Health, which maintains a computerized database of critical information pertinent to the accuracy and reliability of Mr. Ilg’s breath test result.”
The Ohio Department of Health claimed that it lacked the manpower and resources to provide a complete copy of the database information and speculated that it could cost $100,000 to produce such a copy. Mr. Adams responded that “the Ohio Department of Health’s claim that producing all of this information is too costly and will take up too much manpower is false, trumped up, and disingenuous.” Mr. Adams agrees with the trial court judge, Megan Shanahan, who stated, “When it comes to a citizen’s rights in this court, I won’t accept high cost as a valid defense to why appropriately requested documents are not being provided.”
This unanimous ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court is a victory for the citizens of Ohio. While the state has a duty to prosecute DUI offenses, this ruling will keep the State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Health from basing its prosecutions on unreliable machines and unreliable techniques.
Suspects charged with OVI in Ohio are entitled to a fair trial. This ruling, giving the accused the information he or she is entitled to, will place the prosecution on a level playing field and prevent slam dunk prosecutions based on breath test evidence.
Read more about the case that Mr. Adams won before the Ohio Supreme Court here: