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State v. Ortega-Vastida

Court of Appeals of Idaho

February 9, 2017

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
GABRIEL ORTEGA-VASTIDA, Defendant-Respondent.

         2017 Opinion No. 11

         Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Jerome County. Hon. John K. Butler, District Judge.

         Order granting motion to suppress, reversed and case remanded.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Theodore S. Tollefson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for appellant.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Erik R. Lehtinen, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for respondent.

          GRATTON, Chief Judge

         The State appeals from the district court's order granting Gabriel Ortega-Vastida's motion to suppress. For reasons explained below, we reverse the district court's order and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Officer Kelly suspected Ortega-Vastida was driving under the influence. Officer Kelly stopped Ortega-Vastida and Officer Summers performed field sobriety tests. Ortega-Vastida failed the tests, and Officer Summers arrested Ortega-Vastida for driving under the influence.

         At the jail, Officer Kelly played Ortega-Vastida an audio recording of the ALS advisory in Spanish. Officer Kelly performed breath tests on Ortega-Vastida, but Ortega-Vastida did not provide sufficient breath samples. Officer Kelly spoke fluent Spanish and told Ortega-Vastida that he "would like to take him to the hospital to have a blood sample done" and "asked if he was willing to do it." Ortega-Vastida did not object, stood up, and went with Officer Kelly to the hospital.

         At the hospital, Officer Kelly reminded Ortega-Vastida of the potential civil penalties of refusing the blood draw, translated a consent-to-draw card into Spanish, and gave the card to Ortega-Vastida. Ortega-Vastida signed the card, and the hospital staff drew Ortega-Vastida's blood. The test of Ortega-Vastida's blood revealed a blood alcohol content of .370.

         The State charged Ortega-Vastida with felony driving under the influence, Idaho Code Sections 18-8004 and 18-8005(9). Ortega-Vastida moved to suppress evidence of the results of the blood test. The district court granted the motion, holding that Ortega-Vastida's consent to draw his blood ...


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