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State v. Hunter

Court of Appeals of Idaho

May 6, 2014

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
MARK CHRISTOPHER HUNTER, Defendant-Appellant

2014 Opinion No. 37

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Kathryn A. Sticklen, District Judge. Hon. L. Kevin Swain, Magistrate.

Decision of the district court, in its appellate capacity, reversing magistrate's order granting motion to suppress, affirmed and remanded to magistrate court for further proceedings.

Alan Trimming, Ada County Public Defender; Erik J. O'Daniel, Deputy Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Erik J. O'Daniel argued.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Lori A. Fleming, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Lori A. Fleming argued.

SCHWARTZMAN, Judge Pro Tem. Chief Judge GUTIERREZ and Judge LANSING CONCUR.

OPINION

[156 Idaho 569] SCHWARTZMAN, Judge Pro Tem

Page 549

Mark Christopher Hunter appeals from the district court's intermediate appellate decision reversing the magistrate's order granting his motion to suppress evidence. We affirm.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The parties stipulated to the following facts. Shortly after midnight, an officer stopped Hunter for driving several blocks without headlights. The officer smelled the odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. Hunter admitted he had been drinking that night; the female passenger in the vehicle appeared to be heavily intoxicated. The officer checked Hunter's eyes and observed nystagmus.[1] He then requested the assistance of a Safety Traffic Enforcement Program

Page 550

[156 Idaho 570] (STEP) officer[2] to help in the investigation. Officer Robert Gibson arrived to administer field sobriety tests and had Hunter exit the vehicle. Hunter told the officer he was coming from a bar and had earlier watched MMA fights at an arena. He also admitted to drinking three vodka tonics between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Officer Gibson smelled the ...


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