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State of Idaho v. William James Fifer

January 23, 2013

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WILLIAM JAMES FIFER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Linda Copple Trout, Senior Judge. Hon. James A. Schiller, Magistrate.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Walters, Judge Pro Tem

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 340

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Order of the district court affirming magistrate's order denying motion to suppress, affirmed.

William James Fifer appeals from the judgment entered upon his conditional plea of guilty to driving under the influence (DUI), Idaho Code §§ 18-8004 and 18-8005. Fifer challenges the order denying his motion to suppress evidence. We affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

A citizen called 911 after encountering a motorist who appeared to have stalled his car. The caller reported that she offered assistance to the motorist, but the motorist declined. Thereafter, the motorist pulled into a Walgreens' parking lot. The caller described the motorist as elderly and confused. She initially reported that the motorist appeared to be intoxicated or under the influence. Then, she stated that the motorist may be having symptoms of a stroke. At the end of the call, the caller said she did not think the motorist was intoxicated, but just confused. The caller described the vehicle as a blue Camaro and provided partial license plate identification and the location of the vehicle to the 911 operator. She also provided the operator with her name and telephone number.

In response to the 911 call, a police officer approached Walgreens and observed a blue Camaro driven by an elderly male exiting the parking lot. The officer activated his overhead lights and pulled in front of the Camaro, preventing the vehicle from leaving. The officer identified the driver as Fifer and asked if he needed any medical assistance. Fifer responded that he was okay. As he spoke, the officer detected alcohol on Fifer's breath and asked him if he had been drinking. Fifer admitted that he had been drinking and he was arrested for DUI. A subsequent breath analysis revealed that Fifer's breath alcohol content was .182/.173.

Fifer was charged with DUI and filed a motion to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of the traffic stop. The magistrate denied Fifer's motion to suppress and Fifer entered a conditional guilty plea. Fifer timely filed a notice of appeal to the district court, and the district court affirmed the magistrate's decision. Fifer timely appeals.

II.

ANALYSIS

Fifer claims that all evidence obtained as a result of his traffic stop should be suppressed as the product of an unconstitutional seizure. On review of a decision of the district court, rendered in its appellate capacity, we review the decision of the district court directly. Losser v. Bradstreet, 145 Idaho 670, 672, 183 P.3d 758, 760 (2008); State v. DeWitt, 145 Idaho 709, 711, 184 P.3d 215, 217 (Ct. App. 2008). We examine the magistrate record to determine whether there is substantial and competent evidence to support the magistrate's findings of fact and whether the magistrate's conclusions of law follow from those findings. Losser, 145 Idaho at 672, 183 P.3d at 760; DeWitt, 145 Idaho at 711, 184 P.3d at 217. If those findings are so supported and the conclusions follow therefrom and if the ...


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