United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Ronnie L.
Morrow's violation of supervised release. These are Mr.
Morrow's fourth revocation proceedings. Mr. Morrow has
been charged with two violations of the condition that he not
commit another federal, state, or local crime in connection
with two separate arrests for driving under the influence.
[R. 77.] United States Magistrate Judge Hanly A.
Ingram issued a Recommended Disposition in response to Mr.
Morrow's violations. Id. Judge Ingram
recommended incarceration for a period of twenty-four months
with no supervised release to follow. Id.
Ingram's Recommended Disposition accurately sets forth a
more detailed account of the factual and procedural
background of the case. Except for what the Court summarizes
in its discussion below, the Court incorporates his
discussion of the record and the standard of review into this
March 15, 2018, Danville, Kentucky police officers were
dispatched to a non-injury collision. [R. 57.] In attempting
to make a left turn, Mr. Morrow struck a vehicle going the
opposite direction head-on. Id. Responding officers
observed Mr. Morrow at the scene of the accident,
“unsteady on his feet, [with] glassy red eyes”
and noted that Mr. Morrow admitted to taking a male
enhancement pill that day. Id. Field sobriety tests
indicated that Mr. Morrow was impaired. Id. Mr.
Morrow was arrested and charged with driving under the
influence in violation of KRS § 189A.010(1)(c).
Id. A subsequent blood test came back negative for
all tested-for substances.
later, on March 20, 2018, Mr. Morrow was involved in a second
collision. This collision was a one-car accident in which Mr.
Morrow's vehicle struck a building. Id. The
arresting officer observed Mr. Morrow had slurred speech and
was unsteady on his feet. Id. Again, Mr. Morrow was
arrested for driving under the influence, and again, a
subsequent blood test came back negative for all tested-for
substances. Id. State charges in both matters have
been dismissed. Id.
government argues that Mr. Morrow violated KRS §
189A.010(1)(c) on both March 15 and March 20, 2018. In light
of the negative drug tests and dismissed state charges,
defense counsel objected to the Magistrate Judge's
findings of guilt on the violations, on the grounds that the
evidence was insufficient to find the violations by a
preponderance of the evidence. As an alternative explanation
for his apparently impaired state, Mr. Morrow presented
testimony at his allocution hearing that he suffers from low
blood pressure, which caused him to suffer from confusion,
dizziness, and blackouts on both occasions. [R. 193.]
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2), a petitioner has
fourteen days after service to register any objections to the
R&R or else waive his rights to appeal. In order to
receive de novo review by this Court, any objection
to the recommended disposition must be specific. Mira v.
Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). A specific
objection “explain[s] and cite[s] specific portions of
the report which [counsel] deem[s] problematic.”
Robert v. Tesson, 507 F.3d. 981, 994 (6th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Smith v. Chater, 121 F.3d 709, 1997 WL
415309, at *2 (6th Cir. 1997) (unpublished opinion)). A
general objection that fails to identify specific factual or
legal issues from the Recommendation, however, is not
permitted, since it duplicates the magistrate's efforts
and wastes judicial economy. Howard v. Secretary of
Health and Human Services, 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir.
Morrow moved this Court for an extension of time in which to
file objections, which was granted. [R. 78; R. 79.] Mr.
Morrow next made a timely objection to the Recommendation.
[R. 81.] Mr. Morrow objected to the Magistrate Judge's
finding of guilty of both violations as well as the
Magistrate Judge's recommendation of imprisonment for
twenty-four (24) months and requested an allocution hearing.
[R. 81.] An allocution hearing was held pursuant to
Defendant's request. [See R. 87.] Mr.
Morrow's objections are sufficiently definite to trigger
this Court's obligation to conduct a de novo
review. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c). The Court
has satisfied that duty, reviewing the entire record,
including the motions, briefing, the parties' arguments,
relevant case law and statutory authority, as well as
applicable procedural rules. For the following reasons,
Defendants' objection will be OVERRULED.
revoke a term of supervised release, this Court must find, by
a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant violated
a condition of his supervised release. 18 U.S.C. §
3583(e)(3). The government alleges two violations of KRS
§ 189A.010. Kentucky Revised Statute § 189A.010
makes it a crime to “operate or be in physical control
of a vehicle . . . while under the influence of any other
substance or combination of substances which impairs
one's driving ability.” KRS § 189A.010. A
“substance” is not necessarily drugs, alcohol, or
a combination thereof, and may include substances which do
not ordinarily impair driving ability, “but because of
the amount ingested have in fact impaired your driving
ability.” Hayden v. Commonwealth, 766 S.W.2d
956, 967 (Ky. App. 1989). Therefore, a blood test that is