MOUNT VERNON — A urine sample collected following a traffic stop in which a Knox County judge was charged with OVI will be checked for the presence of drugs.

Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Jennifer Springer has been charged in Mount Vernon Municipal Court with operating a vehicle intoxicated and failure to stop at a stop sign by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Mount Gilead post. Springer was pulled over after failing to stop at a stop sign at Yauger Road and Vernonview Drive at 12:46 a.m. and arrested after failing field sobriety tests, according to the report filed in court Wednesday. She was taken to the OSHP post in Mount Gilead, where she gave the urine sample. The urine sample has been submitted to the OSHP lab for testing for “all available drugs,” according to OSHP reports.

When stopped, Springer informed the trooper that she has “several health conditions which she takes medications for,” according to the OSHP report.

Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Jennifer Springer has been charged in Mount Vernon Municipal Court with operating a vehicle intoxicated and failure to stop at a stop sign by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Mount Gilead post. Springer was pulled over after failing to stop at a stop sign at Yauger Road and Vernonview Drive at 12:46 a.m. and arrested after failing field sobriety tests, according to the report filed in court Wednesday. She was taken to the OSHP post in Mount Gilead, where she gave the urine sample. The urine sample has been submitted to the OSHP lab for testing for “all available drugs,” according to OSHP reports.

When stopped, Springer informed the trooper that she has “several health conditions which she takes medications for,” according to the OSHP report.

Springer appeared “lethargic and disoriented,” according to OSHP reports. The report notes, under “evidence of drug use” that Springer’s pupils were dilated.

The report does not indicate that Springer showed any signs of having consumed alcohol.

The trooper administered three field sobriety tests, which Springer failed, according to OSHP reports. Springer requested to repeat two of the tests, and was given another try at them by the trooper. During the eye gaze test, Springer told the trooper she was looking at the moon, and the trooper advised her to focus several times. While under arrest, Springer requested emergency medical services “for mental health reasons,” according to OSHP reports. Springer stated that she had not eaten any food that day.

Springer was transported home from the Mount Gilead post, according to OSHP reports.

In a statement to the News Wednesday, Springer writes she was “less than fully attentive and a bit sleepy” when OSHP pulled her over. Springer, writing in the statement, said she was suffering from side effects from medical issues. Springer writes “I had nothing to drink that day and was not drunk.” Springer writes that she registered 0.00 on a blood alcohol test, and voluntarily submitted to a urine test “after my own request to take such a test.”

Springer has been away from the bench since April on medical leave. She has not specified what the medical issues are.

Springer writes that the OSHP officer acted correctly when stopping her for the stop sign violation, and will plead guilty to that charge. However, Springer writes that “I will not plead guilty to the OVI charge.”

Springer ends stating that she hopes her case will be “handled the same way any other person’s case would be treated.”

When asked about how the charges could affect Springer as a judge, Anne Yeager, Ohio Supreme Court office of public relations manager, said “the outcome could be a matter that might come before the court.”

The charges are scheduled for arraignment in Mount Vernon Municipal Court Friday. Both Municipal Court Judge John Thatcher and Prosecutor Rob Broeren have said they will step aside from the case as they both worked with Springer in the county prosecutor’s office.

 

Nick Sabo: 740-397-5333 or nsabo@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews

 

 

 

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