Heisman Trophy winner and former Ohio State University quarterback Troy Smith has been charged with possessing drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence, according to media reports. Police say that Smith was not taken into custody, but officers at the scene are said to have issued him with a court summons and impounded his vehicle. The incident took place on the evening of Oct. 20 at a DUI sobriety checkpoint in Franklin County.
Officers with the Franklin County DUI Task Force claim that they noticed the distinct odor of marijuana emanating from Smith’s car when pulled up to the checkpoint at approximately 10:00 p.m. This prompted the officers to order Smith to pull into an adjacent inspection area, and drug paraphernalia is said to have been discovered during a subsequent search of his vehicle. Reports also claim that Smith refused to submit to a field sobriety test.
The Oct. 20 incident is not the first time that the 33-year-old former athlete has faced drunk driving charges. Court records reveal that Smith faced OVI charges in 2016 after police pulled his vehicle over in Westerville for a license plate infraction. Toxicology tests revealed his blood alcohol level to be .143 at the time, according to reports. After winning the Heisman Trophy at OSU, Smith went on to play in the NFL for Baltimore, San Francisco and Pittsburgh before finishing his career in Canada with Montreal.
Drivers sometimes refuse to submit to toxicology or field sobriety tests because they believe that doing so will rob prosecutors of vital evidence. Motorists in Ohio consent to such tests when they receive their driver’s licenses, and refusing to comply with the lawful instructions of a police officer will generally result in driving privileges being revoked. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may urge their clients to cooperate with police while making no admissions as an antagonistic attitude could make it far more difficult for them to negotiate a favorable plea agreement.