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Resnik due in court on DUI



Published: Mon, February 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Initially, she pleaded innocent, but that is expected to change today.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- A state Supreme Court justice talked about having a drink and rulings affecting drunken driving offenses before she was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, according to squad car videotapes.

Justice Alice Robie Resnick, 65, of Toledo, is scheduled to appear today in Bowling Green Municipal Court, one week after State Highway Patrol troopers pulled her over on Interstate 75 in Wood County.

Her attorney, Sheldon Wittenberg, filed a request Thursday indicating she wants to change the innocent plea she entered last week. He repeated Sunday that he would not say what the new plea would be.

Video evidence

The State Highway Patrol released a videotape Friday of the arrest. Sgt. William H. Stidham, a supervisor called in by the trooper who pulled her over, informs Justice Resnick he can smell alcohol on her breath and tells her he wants to prevent an accident.

Justice Resnick assures the sergeant that she can drive safely, but he asks her to take a portable breath analysis test.

Justice Resnick lowers her voice and says, "I did have something to drink."

Justice Resnick also repeatedly asked Stidham to let her go and acknowledged she did not listen to a trooper and a Bowling Green patrolman when they approached her state-owned 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee parked at a gas station. Several drivers had called 911 to report an erratic driver and read the vehicle's license plate number.

"My God, you know I decide all these cases in your favor," she tells Stidham. "And my golly, look what you're doing to me."

When Justice Resnick agreed to take the portable alcohol test, she registered 0.22 percent, more than twice the blood-alcohol legal limit in Ohio of 0.08. The portable test can't be used as evidence in court.

"I don't believe that test," Justice Resnick said in the tape. "Do you have another test I can take?"

A judge could sentence Justice Resnick to as much as six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000 if she is found guilty.

She refused to take an official evidentiary Breathalyzer test, which means an automatic one-year license suspension and a three-year ban from driving state vehicles. She will need a driver to get to Columbus for hearings, but the court has said the service won't be state-paid.

Justice Resnick, on the court since 1989, is the its only Democrat.




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