HR mayor OVI case continued to January

Published 10:20 am Friday, December 14, 2012

The pending operating a vehicle while intoxicated case against Hanging Rock’s mayor has been continued until January.

Christopher Davidson, 43, was scheduled for a pretrial hearing Thursday morning in Ironton Municipal Court after pleading not guilty to the OVI charge earlier this week.

Davidson did not appear in front of the Judge O. Clark Collins. Another pretrial in the case was set for 9 a.m. Jan. 24.

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According to a release by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Davidson was arrested at 1:40 a.m. Sunday on Mimosa Lane in the north end of Ironton after Ironton Police officers and OSHP troopers checked what they termed a suspicious vehicle parked on the street.

Acting Chief Chris Bowman said IPD office Steve Smith was flagged down by the OSHP to assist.

“They saw a suspicious vehicle and they contacted our officer, who checked the vehicle along with them,” Bowman said.

According to a report by OSHP, Trooper C.T. Canter noticed “an odor of an alcoholic beverage on and about his breath and person.”

Canter also noted Davidson’s speech was slurred at times.

The report also stated Canter tried to administer a divided attention skills field sobriety test but Davidson would not follow Canter’s pen. Canter had Davidson perform the walk-and-turn sobriety test and the report indicated Davidson raised his arms for balance and lost his balance while turning. The report stated Davidson was placed under arrest for “physical control.”

According to the report, Davidson declined a urine test until he could speak to his attorney. At the jail, Davidson again declined a urine test and was then charged with OVI.

The report also noted the incident as Davidson’s first OVI offense.

Davidson was booked into the Lawrence County Jail at 2:33 a.m. Sunday and subsequently released. He pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon in Ironton Municipal Court and hired Ironton attorney Mark McCown to represent him.

McCown previously said he was starting an investigation into the incident. At the time of the arrest, McCown said Davidson was told he was being charged with physical control since the vehicle was parked and the keys were not in the ignition.

“Our understanding from the facts is that he was, when they approached the vehicle, he was seated in his car talking on his cell phone,” McCown said. “The keys were not in the ignition, the engine was not nor had it been running. It was cold. When he was arrested, they said multiple times that they were citing (Davidson) for physical control and then he got cited for OVI. Which obviously does not comport with what they indicated to him and what they said in their narrative and everything else.”

Calls to Davidson at the village hall were not returned by press time.