COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Columbus police officer is having a pre-trial hearing Wednesday morning after being accused of drag racing while under the influence.
NBC4 obtained an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper’s bodycam video of the Jan. 3 incident, which involved Columbus Division of Police Officer Trier Knieper and her friend, Paige Slyman. The pair had been drag-racing in separate cars around 9 p.m. that night, going 100 mph in a 65-mph zone, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.
Troopers on Interstate 270 westbound pulled Slyman over. When they approached Knieper, one of the trooper’s body cameras recorded her saying she pulled over when she saw the troopers stop Slyman. She added that they were coming from Little Turtle and that she was on the way to a friend’s house.
The trooper told her in the video that he smelled alcohol and was going to conduct a field test. After having her follow a pen with her eyes, walk in a straight line and stand on one leg, the trooper arrested Knieper and placed her in handcuffs, the video showed. The Columbus officer later saw the following misdemeanor charges filed in Franklin County Municipal Court:
- Operating a vehicle while impaired
- Drag racing or street racing
- Speed per se – Posted freeway
Knieper refused to take a breathalyzer test and did not receive a blood or urine test to check her BAC level after being arrested, according to the OSHP’s citation document. The court record for Knieper’s case also showed that her attorney on Tuesday filed a motion to suppress. This is a strategic move attempting to make the field sobriety test inadmissible in court and drop the OVI charge against her, according to Ohio law firm Treleven & Klingensmith.
“The motion to suppress is used to attack, probable cause to stop, probable cause to arrest, admissibility of the field sobriety tests, the breathalyzer and any other constitutional violations,” the firm wrote.
The arrest and pending charges also have not affected Knieper’s employment with the Columbus Division of Police. A public relations advisor for Chief Elaine Bryant confirmed that Knieper “is still on active duty.” Knieper has been with CPD since December 2020.
Knieper’s pretrial hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday. Troopers also arrested Slyman, and she saw charges identical to Knieper’s from the case. She pleaded guilty on Feb. 8, and the presiding judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for her on April 11.