Thursday, April 15, 2021
A stayed one-year suspension has been imposed by the Ohio Supreme Court
On March 2, 2018, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Strauss was driving southbound on I-271 in snowy conditions when he rear-ended a Beachwood police cruiser parked on the side of the road near the scene of another accident. Although the impact caused substantial damage to Strauss’s car and the cruiser, Strauss left the scene without stopping. He continued driving southbound on I271 until he crashed into the median; he then abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot. Police officers found Strauss walking in the middle of a nearby road. He did not obey their orders to stop and continued walking. The police officers arrested Strauss and took him to the Beachwood Police Department, where an officer read him his rights and administered field sobriety tests. An Intoxilyzer breath-alcohol test performed at approximately 2:47 a.m. showed that Strauss’s blood-alcohol content was 0.148.
On January 7, 2019, Strauss pleaded no contest to two counts of operating a vehicle without reasonable control and single counts of resisting arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, unsafe operation of a vehicle in the vicinity of an emergency vehicle, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated (“OVI”).
The parties agreed as to the violations and sanction
In this case, the board expressed some concern that Strauss was reluctant to submit to an assessment conducted by the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program. It noted, however, that that concern was diminished by the facts that (1) an assessment completed as part of Strauss’s criminal sanction found that he had no substance-use disorder and (2) relator never sought an order to compel any further assessment. Ultimately, the board determined that a one-year suspension, stayed in its entirety on the conditions that Strauss commit no further misconduct and comply with the terms of his inactive probation—which requires him to refrain from using nonprescriptive drugs and submit to random drug testing—is the appropriate sanction for his misconduct.
Having thoroughly reviewed the board’s findings of fact and conclusions of law, the applicable mitigating factors, and the sanctions we have imposed for comparable misconduct, we agree.