Opinion No. 156
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of
the State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Daniel Steckel,
Magistrate Judge; Hon. Gerald F. Schroeder, Senior District
decision of the district court is affirmed.
Law Office, Ltd., Boise, for appellant. Greg S. Silvey
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for
respondent. Jessica M. Lorello argued.
JONES, Chief Justice
Chernobieff appeals the denial of his motion to suppress the
results of a warrantless blood draw. Following the magistrate
court's denial of the motion, Chernobieff entered a
conditional guilty plea. On appeal, the district court
affirmed the magistrate court's denial of the motion to
suppress. Chernobieff timely appealed.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
September 11, 2013, at around 11:00 p.m., Idaho State Police
Corporal Matthew Sly responded to a request for assistance
from another officer who had pulled Chernobieff over in a
traffic stop. Upon arrival, Corporal Sly noticed the odor of
an alcoholic beverage, that Chernobieff's eyes were
"glassy and bloodshot, " and that his speech was
"slow and lethargic." Corporal Sly also noticed
that Chernobieff was agitated and appeared to have difficulty
answering questions. Based upon these observations, Corporal
Sly asked Chernobieff to perform standard field sobriety
tests, but Chernobieff refused. Consequently, Corporal Sly
placed Chernobieff under arrest for suspicion of driving
under the influence ("DUI") and placed him in the
patrol car. In the car, Corporal Sly played the audio version
of the administrative license suspension form for Chernobieff
and began the fifteen minute wait period required for a
breath test. However, Chernobieff refused the breath test.
Corporal Sly then contacted the on-call prosecutor for
assistance in obtaining a warrant for a blood sample. The
prosecutor asked Corporal Sly to transport Chernobieff to the
jail, where a conference call would be set up with the
on-call magistrate to obtain a search warrant. The prosecutor
then unsuccessfully attempted to contact the magistrate. Over
approximately ten minutes, the prosecutor attempted to call
the magistrate between three and five times and left one or
two voicemail messages. Unable to reach the magistrate to
obtain a warrant, the prosecutor directed Corporal Sly to
perform a blood draw due to exigent circumstances. Corporal
Sly contacted the phlebotomist to perform a blood draw, and
the test results indicated Chernobieff's blood alcohol
content was 0.226.
State charged Chernobieff with DUI with an excessive blood
alcohol content. Chernobieff filed a motion to suppress,
asserting that the warrantless blood draw violated his rights
under both the United States and Idaho Constitutions. The
magistrate court denied Chernobieff's motion, finding
that the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant
requirement applied under the specific facts of this case.
Subsequently, Chernobieff filed a conditional guilty plea,
reserving his right to appeal the denial of his motion to
suppress. Chernobieff timely appealed to the district court,
which affirmed the magistrate court's decision.
Chenobieff again appealed and the Idaho Courts of Appeals
affirmed. Chernobieff sought, and the Supreme Court granted,
reviewing a case on petition for review from the Court of
Appeals this Court gives due consideration to the decision
reached by the Court of Appeals, but directly reviews the
decision of the trial court." State v. Lute,
150 Idaho 837, 839, 252 P.3d 1255, 1257 (2011). "On
appeal of a decision rendered by a district court while
acting in its intermediate appellate capacity, this Court
directly reviews the district court's decision."
In re Doe, 147 Idaho 243, 248, 207 P.3d 974, 979
(2009). "In reviewing an order granting or denying a
motion to suppress evidence, this Court will ...