Home News Chillicothe – Driver Arrested for OVI After Passing Out at Traffic Light

Chillicothe – Driver Arrested for OVI After Passing Out at Traffic Light


Chillicothe, Ohio – A routine patrol took a serious turn when a detective on foot encountered a Gold Ford Escape bearing Ohio Registration “JIV2893” facing southbound on Paint Street at the Paint/Main St intersection. The driver, identified as Stephen LAWHORN, was found passed out seated in the vehicle with an open bottle of Budweiser in the center console, emitting a strong odor of alcohol.

Upon instructing LAWHORN to put the vehicle in park and turn it off, the detective observed him to be extremely unsteady on his feet upon exiting the vehicle. LAWHORN admitted to consuming alcohol, claiming to have had “3 beers” after finishing work at 6:00 am.

Suspecting intoxication, the detective conducted Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). LAWHORN, who admitted to being legally blind in his left eye, exhibited signs of impairment, including a lack of smooth pursuit and nystagmus in his right eye during the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test.

Despite initial attempts, LAWHORN refused to participate in the Walk and Turn Test, leading to his arrest for Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI). Subsequently, he was escorted to the Ross County Jail, where he refused a breath test, resulting in an ALS Suspension. LAWHORN was issued a Traffic Citation “53384” and scheduled for a court appearance on April 3rd, 2024, at 09:00 am in the Chillicothe Municipal Court.

Further investigation revealed a receipt from Amber’s Drive Thru, indicating LAWHORN’s purchase of alcohol on the same date. The vehicle was towed by Hall’s Towing, and the Budweiser bottle, found to be cold and still containing liquid, was disposed of.

LAWHORN was left in the care of Ross County Jail staff following the incident.