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Admissibility of Radar Speed-Detection in Ohio

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2020 | Ohio Law Series

Ever wonder if radar speed-detection is admissible in Ohio? Well it is! Not only is it admissible, the prosecutor does not have to call an expert to support the technology.

In Brook Park v. Rodojev, 2020-Ohio-3253, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the admissibility of radar and laser detection devices. The court syllabus reads:

The results of a speed-measuring device using either radar or laser technology are admissible in court without expert testimony establishing, or the court taking judicial notice of, the reliability of the scientific principles of that technology. However, the factfinder is required to determine whether the evidence presented concerning the accuracy of the particular speed-measuring device and the qualifications of the person who used it is sufficient to support a conviction based on the device’s results. (E. Cleveland v. Ferell, 168 Ohio St. 298, 154 N.E.2d 630 (1958), approved and followed.)

The court reasoned:

We are satisfied that the scientific principles underlying laser speed-measuring devices are sufficiently reliable and hold that the results of a laser speed-measuring device are admissible in Ohio courts without expert testimony establishing their reliability or the court taking judicial notice of the scientific principles underlying that technology. Our decision on this issue is in accordance with decisions from courts in several other states.

Although the results can still be challenged by the defendant (the person who got the ticket), it’s probably cheaper to pay the fine than to contest the technology. It’s probably even easier to watch your speed!