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State v. Franklin

Court of Appeals of Idaho

August 4, 2016

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
TRICIA FRANKLIN, Defendant-Appellant.

         2016 Opinion No. 52

         Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Boise County. Hon. Patrick H. Owen, District Judge.

         Order denying motion to suppress, reversed and case remanded.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, Interim State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          GRATTON, Judge

         Tricia Franklin appeals from the district court's order denying her motion to suppress. We reverse the order and remand the case for further proceedings.


         Officer Tatilian encountered Franklin walking across a street toward a saloon. She appeared intoxicated and smelled of alcohol. Later that day, Officer Tatilian responded to a report of an intoxicated driver operating a 1990s Ford pickup and driving away from the saloon where the officer had contacted Franklin. Officer Tatilian located the pickup parked at a local motel and found Franklin and her boyfriend, Jason Snowball, in one of the motel's rooms. Franklin and Snowball both admitted they were intoxicated and Officer Tatilian warned them not to drive while they were intoxicated.

         At approximately 10:12 p.m., dispatch asked Officer Tatilian to respond to a single-vehicle accident involving a 1990s Ford pickup. When Officer Tatilian arrived at the scene of the accident at 10:47 p.m., the fire chief was already there. The fire chief informed Officer Tatilian that Franklin was injured in the accident and taken to the hospital. The fire chief also told Officer Tatilian that Franklin appeared intoxicated, smelled of alcohol, and said she was the vehicle's driver and only occupant.

         Officer Tatilian located Snowball's wallet at the scene. Thinking Snowball may have been involved in the accident, Officer Tatilian searched for other victims but did not find any other victims at the scene. Officer Tatilian had radios in his vehicle and on his person that were working while at the scene of the accident. The officer left at approximately 11:55 p.m. and went back to the motel where he confirmed Snowball was not involved in the accident. The district court found that around midnight, Officer Tatilian asked dispatch to send a phlebotomist and another officer to draw Franklin's blood at the hospital.

         A phlebotomist and Officer Rogers were sent to the hospital to obtain Franklin's blood. Franklin arrived at the hospital at 12:20 a.m., shortly after Officer Rogers. At the hospital, Franklin physically refused a blood draw for law enforcement purposes. However, the hospital nurse was drawing Franklin's blood for treatment purposes. Through the phlebotomist, Officer Rogers had the hospital nurse fill two tubes with Franklin's blood. The nurse completed the blood draw at 12:40 a.m. The test of Franklin's blood revealed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .236.

         The State charged Franklin with felony driving under the influence (DUI), Idaho Code §§ 18-8004 and 18-8005(6), and misdemeanor driving without privileges, I.C. § 18-8001(4). Franklin moved to suppress evidence of the results of the blood test. The district court denied the motion, holding implied consent and exigent circumstances justified the warrantless blood draw. Franklin entered a conditional guilty plea, reserving the right to appeal the denial of her motion to suppress, and the State dismissed the driving without privileges charge. Franklin timely appeals from the denial of her motion to suppress.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Franklin argues the district court erred in denying her motion to suppress. The standard of review of a suppression motion is bifurcated. When a decision on a motion to suppress is challenged, we accept the trial court's findings of fact that are supported by substantial evidence, but we freely review the application of constitutional principles to the facts as found. State v. Atkinson, 128 Idaho 559, 561, 916 P.2d 1284, 1286 (Ct. App. 1996). At a suppression hearing, the power to assess the credibility of witnesses, resolve factual conflicts, weigh evidence, and draw factual inferences is vested in the trial court. State v. Valdez-Molina, 127 Idaho 102, 106, 897 P.2d 993, 997 (1995); State v. Schevers, 132 Idaho 786, 789, 979 P.2d 659, 662 (Ct. App. 1999).

         Franklin raises three issues on appeal. First, she argues she withdrew her consent under current Idaho law. Accordingly, she asserts she did not impliedly consent to the warrantless blood draw. The State concedes that Franklin withdrew her consent under "recent Idaho Supreme Court decisions" and the implied consent exception is "inapplicable under the facts of this case." Therefore, we need not address this issue. Second, Franklin argues the district court's factual finding that Officer Tatilian requested the blood draw around ...

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