Improper Use of Prior DUIs in Subsequent Prosecutions

The Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals has recently issued an opinion that bars the use of prior DUI and driving-under-suspension ("DUS") convictions if the purpose of the prior DUI and DUS convictions is to support a claim that the defendant was intoxicated in the current prosecution. In the case of State v. Greer, the prosecution attempted to use the fact that the defendant had been previously convicted of a number of other DUI and DUS crimes - but only did so because the prosecution had no medical evidence of the current alleged driving while intoxicated event. The Court held that where the defendant claims that he was not intoxicated at all, the State cannot use the prior DUI and DUS cases to prove that he was. Most prosecutors would have never put this one to the test. So this decision is not surprising.