County District Court File Nos. 65-CV-16-161, 65-CR-16-323
D. Schaps, Schaps Law Office, Litchfield, Minnesota (for
Swanson, Attorney General, Saraswati D. Singh, Assistant
Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and David Jon
Torgelson, Renville County Attorney, Olivia, Minnesota (for
Considered and decided by Bjorkman, Presiding Judge;
Peterson, Judge; and Larkin, Judge.
a vehicle on a marking that delineates a lane for traffic
constitutes movement from the lane within the meaning of
Minn. Stat. § 169.18, subd. 7(a) (2016).
consolidated appeal, appellant challenges his conviction of
driving while impaired and the revocation of his license to
drive. He argues that the underlying traffic stop was
unconstitutional and that the district court therefore erred
by denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained as a
result of the stop and by sustaining the attendant license
revocation. Because the traffic stop was supported by
reasonable, articulable suspicion, we affirm.
State of Minnesota charged appellant Philip George Kruse with
two counts of fourth-degree driving while impaired (DWI), and
respondent Commissioner of Public Safety revoked Kruse's
license to drive, following Kruse's arrest for DWI. Kruse
moved to suppress the evidence supporting the charges,
arguing that he was unlawfully seized without reasonable,
articulable suspicion of criminal activity. Kruse also
petitioned for rescission of the license revocation on the
same ground. The district court held a combined hearing on
Kruse's suppression motion and implied-consent petition.
Officer Lucas Jacques of the Renville County Sheriff's
Office testified at the hearing, and a squad video of the
underlying traffic stop was received as evidence. The
district court found that the video evidence did not
contradict the officer's testimony and that the relevant
facts based on that testimony were as follows.
September 22, 2016 at approximately 11:50 p.m., Officer
Jacques was on routine patrol traveling north on County Road
24 when he observed a vehicle approximately one mile in front
of him traveling in the same direction. Officer Jacques was
patrolling that location because there had been parties there
in the past. Officer Jacques caught up to the vehicle,
and when he was approximately three car lengths behind the
vehicle, he observed it move right and onto the fog line,
not over the fog line. Officer Jacques then observed the
vehicle move left and onto the center line, but not over the
center line. Officer Jacques initiated a traffic stop and
identified Kruse as the driver of the vehicle. Kruse
performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and Officer Jacques
arrested him for DWI.
district court denied Kruse's motion to suppress and
sustained the revocation of his license to drive. Kruse
stipulated to the prosecution's case under Minn. R. Crim.
P. 26.01, subd. 4, to obtain review of the suppression
ruling, and the district court found him guilty of
fourth-degree DWI. Kruse separately appealed the judgment of
conviction (A17-0564) and the order sustaining the revocation
of his license to drive (A17-0552). This court consolidated
driving a vehicle on a marking that delineates a lane for
traffic constitute movement from the lane within the meaning