311.31 Voluntary motor vehicle decal registration program.

(A) The board of county commissioners of a county may establish, by resolution, a voluntary motor vehicle decal registration program to be controlled and conducted by the sheriff within the unincorporated areas of the county. The board may establish a fee for participation in the program in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of administering the program and the cost of the decals. The board shall coordinate its program with any pre-existing program established by a township located within the county under section 505.67 of the Revised Code.

(B) Any resident of the county may enroll a motor vehicle that the resident owns in the program by signing a consent form, displaying the decal issued under this section, and paying the prescribed fee. The motor vehicle owner shall remove the decal to withdraw from the program and also prior to the sale or transfer of ownership of the vehicle. Any law enforcement officer may conduct, at any place within this state at which the officer would be permitted to arrest the person operating the vehicle, an investigatory stop of any motor vehicle displaying a decal issued under this section when the vehicle is being driven between the hours of one a.m. and five a.m. A law enforcement officer may conduct an investigatory stop under this division regardless of whether the officer observes a violation of law involving the vehicle or whether the officer has probable cause to believe that any violation of law involving the vehicle has occurred.

(C) The consent form required under division (B) of this section shall:

(1) Describe the conditions for participation in the program, including a description of an investigatory stop and a statement that any law enforcement officer may conduct, at any place within this state at which the officer would be permitted to arrest the person operating the vehicle, an investigatory stop of the motor vehicle when it is being driven between the hours of one a.m. and five a.m.

(2) Contain other information identifying the vehicle and owner as the sheriff considers necessary.

(D) The state director of public safety, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall adopt rules governing the color, size, and design of decals issued under this section and the location where the decals shall be displayed on vehicles that are enrolled in the program.

(E) Divisions (A) to (D) of this section do not require a law enforcement officer to conduct an investigatory stop of a vehicle displaying a decal issued under this section.

(F) As used in this section:

(1) "Investigatory stop" means a temporary stop of a motor vehicle and its operator and occupants for purposes of determining the identity of the person who is operating the vehicle and, if the person who is operating it is not its owner, whether any violation of law has occurred or is occurring. An "investigatory stop" is not an arrest, but, if an officer who conducts an investigatory stop determines that illegal conduct has occurred or is occurring, an "investigatory stop" may be the basis for an arrest.

(2) "Law enforcement officer" means a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, police officer of a township or joint police district, marshal, deputy marshal, municipal police officer, or state highway patrol trooper.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-20-1994