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State v. McKie

Court of Appeals of Idaho

April 12, 2018

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
CHAD CHRISTOPHER McKIE, Defendant-Appellant.

         2018 Opinion No. 19

          Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Gerald F. Schroeder, District Judge; Hon. Kevin Swain, Magistrate.

         Decision of the district court, on intermediate appeal from the magistrate, affirming judgment of conviction for driving under the influence, affirmed.

          Vernon K. Smith, Jr., Boise, for appellant.

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


         Chad Christopher McKie appeals from the district court's intermediate appellate decision affirming his conditional guilty plea to driving while under the influence (DUI). McKie challenges the district court's affirmance of the magistrate's ruling that a moped is a motor vehicle for purposes of the DUI statute. For the following reasons, we affirm.


         McKie operated a moped, with a malfunctioning taillight, in a bike lane. McKie was stopped and ultimately arrested. The State charged McKie with driving under the influence of alcohol, Idaho Code § 18-8004, with an excessive blood alcohol content; fictitious display of plate or registration card; and failure to provide proof of insurance. McKie filed a motion to dismiss the DUI charge, arguing that because his moped was not a motor vehicle as defined by Idaho statute the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction. The magistrate ruled the issue was not jurisdictional and denied the motion as untimely. Nonetheless, the magistrate, relying on State v. Trusdall, 155 Idaho 965, 318 P.3d 955 (Ct. App. 2014), ruled that for purposes of the DUI charge, a motor vehicle is a self-propelled vehicle, stating that the precise definition was an issue to be dealt with at trial in a jury instruction.

         Subsequently, the parties stipulated to facts, and McKie entered a conditional guilty plea to DUI. For purposes of this appeal, the pertinent stipulated facts are: that McKie was in actual physical control of and was driving a vehicle, in the bicycle lane, on a publicly maintained roadway that is open to the public; that, as he drove, he was wobbling in his lane and the taillight of the vehicle was not functioning properly; that he was stopped by an officer who observed signs of intoxication; that the vehicle driven by McKie was a self-propelled vehicle as defined by I.C. § 49-123(2)(h); that the vehicle was a moped as defined by I.C. § 49-114(9); that the moped driven was neither titled nor registered; that McKie was subjected to standard field sobriety tests, administered by a trained and certified officer; that McKie was arrested for driving under the influence; and that a blood analysis test revealed a blood alcohol concentration to 0.253.

         McKie entered a conditional guilty plea to DUI, preserving the right to appeal the magistrate's ruling "that the vehicle in question here was a motor vehicle." The magistrate entered a judgment of conviction and sentence and ordered a stay of execution pending appellate review. McKie timely appealed to the district court. In affirming the magistrate's ruling regarding the definition of "motor vehicle, " the district court held that the DUI statute applied because McKie operated a self-propelled vehicle, a moped, while intoxicated. The district court further held that McKie was procedurally barred from raising the issue of whether the DUI statute was unconstitutionally vague as applied to him. McKie again appeals.


         For an appeal from the district court, sitting in its appellate capacity over a case from the magistrate division, this Court's standard of review is the same as expressed by the Idaho Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reviews the magistrate record to determine whether there is substantial and competent evidence to support the magistrate's findings of fact and whether the magistrate's conclusions of law follow from those findings. State v. Korn, 148 Idaho 413, 415, 224 P.3d 480, 482 (2009). If those findings are so supported and the conclusions follow therefrom, and if the district court affirmed the magistrate's decision, we affirm the district court's decision as a matter of procedure. Id. Thus, the appellate courts do not review the decision of the magistrate. Trusdall, 155 Idaho at 968, 318 P.3d at 958. Rather, we are procedurally bound to affirm or reverse the decision of the district court. Id.

         III. ...

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