Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Distracted driver slams into 2 Ohio police cruisers

A 30-year-old Ohio man with a history of drunk driving allegedly crashed into two stationary police cruisers on the evening of Nov. 15. A Mayfield Heights Police Department sergeant is said to have suffered minor injuries in the crash. He was transported by paramedics to a local medical facility for treatment. A department representative said that he was released from the hospital the following day.

According to a police report, two cruisers had pulled over on Interstate 271 near the Mayfield Road entrance ramp to investigate a motor vehicle accident when one of the cruisers was struck in the rear by a minivan traveling at approximately 50 mph. The sergeant who was injured was sitting in the cruiser filling out paperwork at the time of the collision. The force of the impact left the police vehicle with significant damage and propelled it into the second cruiser.

Police say that the driver of the minivan admitted to consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel and looking at his phone prior to crashing. He was taken into custody after allegedly performing poorly during a series of standardized field sobriety tests and refusing to provide a breath sample. Video footage recorded on an officer's body camera is said to have captured the man admitting to being distracted at the time of the accident.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise their clients to be courteous and cooperate with police officers but make no incriminating statements before consulting with a lawyer. Refusing to submit to a breath test violates Ohio's implied consent law and will usually result in the individual concerned losing their driving privileges for a year or longer. Belligerent attitudes and spontaneous admissions could also make it far more difficult for defense attorneys to resolve drunk driving cases through plea negotiations.

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