Sherburne County District Court File No. KX-03-1209
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Peterson, Judge; and
1. Minn. Stat. § 169A.41 does not prohibit the results of a breath test administered by a non-peace officer from being considered by a peace officer in forming probable cause to arrest for violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20.
2. The arresting officer had probable cause to arrest appellant for driving while under the influence of alcohol and to invoke the implied consent law.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Forsberg, Judge*fn1
This is an appeal from a pretrial order of the Sherburne County District Court suppressing evidence of intoxication and dismissing, for lack of probable cause, two counts of first-degree driving while under the influence of alcohol. The state appeals from the dismissal of count one for violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(1) (2002). Because the arresting officer had probable cause to arrest appellant for driving while under the influence of alcohol and to invoke the implied consent law, we reverse.
At approximately 5:00 p.m. on May 12, 2003, State Trooper John Hodnefield received information through Sherburne County dispatch regarding a reckless driver in a blue van with out-of-state license plates passing vehicles on the shoulder and tailgating on Highway 10 near the City of Big Lake. At approximately the same time, Officer Dave Hurd of the Elk River Police Department received a call from Sherburne County dispatch regarding a possible road-rage incident on Highway 10 involving the same van.
Hurd then observed the van in a Hardee's parking lot and detained it. Hodnefield arrived at the scene, and Hurd informed him that the driver had backed up almost hitting Hurd's squad before stopping. There were two people in the van who looked substantially alike. While speaking with Hodnefield about the complaints of reckless driving, the person in the driver's seat stated that he had not been driving but then said "that he was passing these other vehicles and that the only reason that they were turning him in was that the girlfriend of the one smiled at them."
The driver did not produce a driver's license but identified himself as "Matt Balsimo" and stated his date of birth as February 13, 1967. Hurd entered the name given into his on-board computers and obtained a readout stating the name and birth date given were not on file. Hurd then demanded the driver reveal his identity, and he identified himself as Loren Laducer. Hurd discovered Laducer's driving privileges were revoked.
Laducer was arrested for providing false information to a police officer, driving after revocation, and careless driving. Since Laducer and the passenger traveling with him looked substantially alike, Laducer was transported to the Sherburne County Jail for booking, positive identification, and subsequent release after assigning a court date.
Laducer was not cooperative at the jail and was placed in a holding cell alone. At approximately 8:00 p.m., Sherburne County Correctional Officer Jeff Bednarek opened the door of the cell and detected a strong smell of alcohol coming from Laducer. Bednarek asked Laducer if he had been drinking that day, and Laducer responded that he had consumed some beer. Laducer was told that he could not be released from jail if he was under the influence of alcohol and did not have a sober driver to pick him up. Laducer said he had no one that would pick him up. Bednarek told Laducer that he would be released with a court date if he blew ...