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State v. Braukman

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-19-2011
Case #: A145523
Wollheim, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A145523.pdf

Criminal Procedure: To determine whether an officer had reasonable suspicion that a person is under the influence, the court takes into account the officer’s experience and whether the officer found specific, articulable, facts that could raise a reasonable suspicion that the defendant may be under the influence of intoxicants.

Defendant pulled out in front of another vehicle, made an illegal left turn, and was subsequently pulled over by a police officer. When the officer approached the car, defendant had a dog on his lap, sunglasses on, and was eating a hamburger. Defendant’s cheeks and neck were flushed and reddish, and his movements were slow. The officer asked defendant if he had been drinking and to submit to a field sobriety test, which the defendant failed. The trial court suppressed the evidence obtained after the officer asked the defendant if he had been drinking. The state argued that under the totality of the circumstances the officer had reasonable suspicion to believe the defendant was driving under the influence. To meet the totality of the circumstances test, the court looked at whether the officer found specific, articulable, facts that could raise a reasonable suspicion that the defendant may be under the influence of intoxicants. The Court held that, under the totality of the circumstances, the officer was reasonable in asking the defendant if he had been drinking. Reversed and remanded.