Hanging Rock Mayor Chris Davidson appears before Judge O. Clark Collins in Ironton Municipal Court Thursday as the charges of driving under the influence were reduced.

Archived Story

DUI charge lowered for HR mayor

Published 9:35am Friday, January 25, 2013

The DUI case against Hanging Rock Mayor Christopher Davidson was concluded Thursday in Ironton Municipal Court after charges were lowered by the prosecutor’s office, citing lack of evidence.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Bob Anderson recommended the DUI charge to be lowered to physical control, saying there was no evidence Davidson was operating his vehicle at the time he was questioned by authorities in mid-December.

“We are not able to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt,” Anderson said. “He was found sitting in the vehicle. The keys were not even in the ignition.”

According to Ohio Revised Code, “physical control” means being in the driver’s position of the front seat of a vehicle and having possession of the vehicle’s ignition key or other ignition device.

Davidson, who retained attorney Mark McCown to represent him, pleaded guilty to the reduced charge.

Judge O. Clark Collins sentenced Davidson to 10 days in the county jail, suspended, one year of probation and a $350 fine plus court costs.

McCown said after the case concluded that he felt, following motion hearings, he could have gotten even the physical control charge dropped, but said Davidson wanted to take responsibility for his actions.

“He understands it was a technical violation of Ohio law,” McCown said.

McCown also said the sentence imposed was the standard for a physical control violation.

The charges came about after the Ohio State Highway Patrol and an Ironton Police officer responded to what OSHP termed a “suspicious vehicle” parked on Mimosa Lane in the north end of Ironton.

According to a report by OSHP, Trooper C.T. Canter noticed “an odor of an alcoholic beverage on and about (Davidson’s) breath and person.”

Davidson was subsequently arrested following field sobriety tests and taken to the Lawrence County Jail.

The report also stated Davidson was placed under arrest for “physical control,” but was later charged with a DUI.

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  • dublindon

    Another politician get away with it. Seems to be the way in Lawrence county. Looks like the court system works as well. NOT!

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  • Poor Richard

    What an embarrassment for the citizens of Hanging Rock.

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  • bigkahuna

    You do not see him drive and keys are not in the ignition them no DUI occured. That is the law. Next time catch him in motion.

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  • SoundByte

    What total BS. Reasonable doubt is for murder trials not such domestic issues as this. Reasonable doubt is a total hogwash to make the dirty dealing look legal but it a total fake out. More respect for local govt and police down the crapper great job! Remember this next time you wish to complain of your public’s view of all of the legal system

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  • windy bill

    The Keys were not in the ignition. He was minding his own business. Looks like the Trooper had decided to arrest this man from the start. They had no evidence. Sounds like Lawrence County justice to me. The OSHP is just about as bad as the Hanging Rock Police.

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    • Ironton Cares

      Yes you have all of that perfect! There are 4 houses on Mimosa Lane and I know where this joker lives so he had no reason again as I say to be in that area, he knew the OSHP was on 2nd Street and he made a turn there to try to avoid them, it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure that out. Justice is never served when it comes to someone like that!

      (Report comment)

  • anticon

    Same with the South Point and Chesapeake Police. Their only function is to hide. South Point police hide and pull over taxpayers on their way to work and school at the stop sign at the intersection of Solida and Sand Roads. Chesapeake police hide and pull over taxpayers as they approach the 6th St. bridge.

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  • Ironton Cares

    It turned out exactly what I said it would turn out, he got a smack on the hand and told not to do it again, although he didn’t have the key in the ignition he was sitting on Mimosa Lane completely out of the way where he lives and they say they couldn’t prove he was driving, come on!!!! Keep letting them get away with it like everyone else, what a crooked town!!

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  • KingOfTheGame

    Wonder if all the crooked cops at Hanging Rock PD will “lower” their bogus tickets for motorists that travel through that dump? Coincidently, Mark McCown happens to sometimes preside over their Kangaroo Court for them. Hanging Rock is a disgusting hole that needs disinfected.

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  • swampcreature

    It was just another day of ‘justice’ in a county run by a few for the few.

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  • Retro

    How many drivers did he sit in judgement on? Hanging Rock, speed trap capital of the world. All their cop does is cruise up and down Rt. 52 trying to generate money to pay the cop and mayor.

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  • bleedingheart

    Was the motor warm? I believe that can be used as proof he was driving. (Not sure how the law is stated.)
    We will NEVER get drunk drivers off the road as long as we refuse to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

    (Report comment)

    • swimmingupstream

      An earlier news report on this case said the motor was cold. While its obvious that if the car was Davidson’s and he was behind the wheel there is likely no other way it and him would have been where they were if he hadn’t driven the car there; however, since no one saw him driving and the keys weren’t in the ignition I’m not sure how they could have charged him with anything other than public intoxication.

      (Report comment)

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