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Published: Wednesday, 1/21/2009

Ex-radio personality faces new charges

BLADE STAFF

Former radio personality Troy Neff pleaded not guilty yesterday in Oregon Municipal Court to drunken driving after he was accused of nearly causing a collision with a police officer.

Mr. Neff, 40, of Curtice, was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, driving left of center, and a violation of the seat-belt law. He was released on his own recognizance.

Mr. Neff's blood-alcohol content was 0.143, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 for a motorist in Ohio, a police report said.

Oregon police Officer Brandon Begin was patrolling on westbound State Rt. 2 just after midnight Monday when an eastbound car began drifting left of center, forcing him to swerve to the right to avoid a collision, a report said. The officer turned around and stopped the vehicle on Route 2 near I-280.

Officer Begin asked the driver for his license and proof of insurance. Mr. Neff handed the officer his license and a Visa card, police said.

The officer again asked Mr. Neff for his insurance information, at which point he found the information, had it in his left hand, and continued searching through paperwork, a report said.

The officer asked Mr. Neff for the information a third time. Mr. Neff again began looking for it when Officer Begin told him he had the insurance information in his hand, a report said.

Officer Begin said he smelled alcohol on the breath of Mr. Neff, who told the officer he hadn't had any alcohol that day, a report said.

Mr. Neff then failed field sobriety tests and was arrested. He was taken to the Oregon Police Department, where he submitted to a blood-alcohol-content test after consulting his lawyer by phone, a report said.

Mr. Neff is to appear in Perrysburg Municipal Court today for a pretrial hearing on an unrelated charge of misdemeanor assault for a road-rage incident Dec. 10.

Since that incident, Mr. Neff's radio program, the Troy Neff Show, on WCWA-AM, was taken off the air and his column in the Toledo Free Press was canceled.



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