COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – An Ohio Supreme Court decision allows for an observer to report to police that someone is drunk and police can pull them over.
The decision came after a woman challenged her 2017 arrest, saying her civil rights were violated and the trooper did not have evidence to pull her over.
The trooper was parked at a service station in Warren County doing paperwork when a customer yelled to him, “Hey, you need to stop that vehicle. That lady is drunk.”
As the woman was pulling out of the gas station, the trooper noted she was driving very slowly and stopped her. He discovered then that she was intoxicated, according to court documents.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the stop did not violate the woman’s constitutional rights.
One judge wrote given the circumstances and the information available to the officer, it was “reasonable for him to approach the vehicle in a public area and briefly detain the driver.”
Citing prior cases showing investigatory detentions, the court accepts the risk that officers may stop innocent people.