2015 Opinion No. 20
Appeal from the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District, State of Idaho, Bingham County. Hon. Darren B. Simpson, District Judge.
Order denying motion to dismiss, affirmed; order denying motion to suppress evidence, vacated, and case remanded.
Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Justin M. Curtis, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.
Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Russell J. Spencer, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Brant Lee Eversole entered a conditional guilty plea to a charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, preserving his right to appeal orders denying a suppression motion and a motion to dismiss. He argues that evidence of his blood alcohol content should have been suppressed. He also contends that the charges should have been dismissed because his vehicle was not operational.
An officer observed Eversole in the driver's seat of a truck located in front of a bar. The truck was high-centered on a two-foot tall "brick berm, " such that the rear wheels of the vehicle did not touch the ground. Two other men were providing help, trying to get the vehicle off of the berm by lifting the vehicle with a jack. In the officer's view, the jack strategy was unlikely to work and he described it as a "feeble" effort, but he also opined that their strategy might work if the jack was positioned "a little bit differently."
The officer approached the individuals, and his observations led him to believe that Eversole was intoxicated. The officer began administering field sobriety tests. Eversole attempted to complete some of the field sobriety tests, but refused to complete them all. Because the attempted tests indicated intoxication, Eversole was arrested. Thereafter, Eversole additionally refused to submit to a breath alcohol concentration test. Eversole was then taken to a hospital and his blood was drawn. The blood test showed that Eversole had an alcohol concentration of .279 grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) cubic centimeters of blood, well over the threshold required to prove "excessiveness" as defined in Idaho Code § 18-8004C. Eversole was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in violation of I.C. §§ 18-8004(1)(a), 18-8005(9).
Eversole filed a motion to suppress the results of his blood draw. Rather than conducting an evidentiary hearing on the suppression motion, the parties stipulated to the facts to be considered by the district court, including the following:
At the time of his arrest, Mr. Eversole refused to provide a breath sample for the purpose of determining his blood alcohol content.
Upon the Defendant's refusal to provide a breath sample, Deputy Morgan transported the Defendant to Bingham Memorial Hospital where Tiffany Henderson, a technician in the lab, drew Mr. Eversole's blood pursuant to Deputy Morgan's request.
Eversole conceded that under Idaho statutes, as applied in then-current Idaho case law, persons driving within the state gave implied consent to warrantless blood draws. Nevertheless, he argued that the Idaho precedents regarding warrantless blood draws had been abrogated by a recent United States Supreme Court decision. The district court held that the Idaho precedents had not been overruled and that an objection to alcohol ...