CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed was in a municipal courtroom Thursday ready to face a jury on an OVI charge from when he was arrested on March 5.
He is being represented by attorneys Kevin Spellacy and Jeffrey Saffold.
The trial began around 10:30 a.m. with jury selection.
The case will be presented in front of a visiting judge. Retired Willoughby Municipal Judge Larry Allen is presiding over the case.
During Thursday’s trial, the arresting officer testified that as soon as walked to Reed’s vehicle he smelled alcohol.
“I advised him on why we pulled him over,” said officer, Aaron Petit. “I also asked him what he had to drink and his speech was very slurred and the odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle was overwhelming.”
Cleveland Prosecutor Victor Perez told the jurors he believes the facts will prove that Reed was intoxicated when he was driving the vehicle.
“And at the end, with all the evidence presented to you, you will be able to find the defendant guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol,” Perez told jurors during opening statements.
Prosecutors previously stated they have receipts that show Reed paid a tab before he was pulled over that night in March.
At the time, Reed told police he had two beers and Listerine. Police said he failed his field sobriety tests.
The defense disagreed, saying the prosecution won’t be able to prove the case.
This is Reed’s third OVI arrest. He was arrested previously in 2005 and 2007.
If convicted, he could face up to 6 months in jail.
Despite his legal issues, Reed says he is continuing to work and represent the people that elected him to office.
He declined to discuss the trial at this time.
(Continuing coverage HERE)