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Compendium
Superior Court Cases

Issues Regarding Various Grounds for Stop
I. Traffic Violations | II. Erratic Operation | III. Issues Involving "Way" | IV. Miscellaneous
 
I. Traffic Violations
Vega v. Bailey, 218-2011-CV-00254, (McHugh, 6/15/11), AFFIRMED
ALS refusal where Petitioner refused field sobriety tests. Alleged failure to produce field notes constituted discovery violation. Held that field notes commonly destroyed after report prepared. Therefore, no discovery violation in not producing them. Argued that failure of ancillary officers to testify at hearing denied confrontation. Court reviewed evidence without considering statements made by other officers without deciding admissibility and held sufficient evidence of reasonable grounds to stop including improper pass, failure to signal, crossing yellow line and fog line. Sufficient evidence of impairment including bloodshot and glassy eyes, odor of alcohol, and poor dexterity applying standard impairment to any degree.
Garre v. Department of Safety, 09-E-0225, (Brown, 9/9/09), AFFIRMED
ALS appeal. Summarily affirmed as clearly lawful and reasonable.
Karagianis v. Beecher, 01-E-297, (Merrimack, Fitzgerald, 11/14/01) AFFIRMED
Arrested for DWI; plaintiff argues that Trooper did not have reasonable grounds on which to stop the plaintiff; the Hearings Examiner relied on Lopez; the court held that: "Here, the Hearings Examiner was not required to make a finding on the constitutionality of the traffic stop or the arrest." (NOTE: cross-reference Section 9, IV Miscellaneous Issues Involving Breath Tests)
Farrell v. Beecher, 00-E-72, (SD Hillsborough, Hollman, 6/27/00) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle approaching at high rate of speed; heard motor of vehicle and visually estimated speed at 60 mph in a 40 mph zone; officer received training on visually estimating speed at academy and had four years of experience with radar; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: plaintiff's license plate was CLOCME; also cross-reference to illegal detention and Section I of refusal)
Mertzig v. Beecher, 99-E-283, (ND Hillsborough, Sullivan, 3/24/00) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle fail to dim high-beam lights in violation of RSA 265:114; plaintiff claimed that lights need to be dimmed only within 150 feet of oncoming vehicles and officer could not state with certainty that plaintiff's vehicle was within 150 feet of officer's vehicle; court held that "… RSA 265:114 does not require that the petitioner's motor vehicle be within 150 feet of an approaching car before dimming his high-beam lights. It is only when a person is following another motor vehicle within approximately 150 feet that the statute requires a person to dim his/her headlights"; court further stated that "even if the court finds that the 150 feet requirement applies to approaching vehicles as well as following vehicles, the hearing officer's finding is reasonable and lawful based on the officer's testimony that the petitioner dimmed his lights very close to the officer". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section II of probable cause and Section I of refusal).
Douglas v. Beecher, 99-E-256, (Belknap, Perkins, 3/24/00) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with third brake-type light on the rear which was white in color instead of red; also observed vehicle make wide right-hand turn, resulting in it going over the yellow line; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section I of refusal)
Fletcher v. Beecher, 99-E-114, (Grafton, Morrill, 11/5/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle execute U-turn through a broken, raised median strip without using turn signal; trooper acknowledged that stop was not based upon failing to use turn signal, but rather, for the U-turn; execution of U-turn was valid pursuant to RSA 265:26, I; court held that "Failure to properly signal as a ground to stop petitioner is not defeated because the trooper thought or stated that he was acting with regard to petitioner's allegedly improper U-turn … Thus, the trooper's observation that petitioner failed to properly signal provides specific and articulable facts which reasonably warranted the stop of the petitioner".
Zorzy v. Beecher, 99-E-31, (Carroll, Fauver, 10/28/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with one taillight inoperative out of four; law requires that only two taillights be operative; "It is conceded that the officer could not charge petitioner with a motor-vehicle violation. There is, however, an administrative regulation that provides that a vehicle may be rejected for inspection if 'any bulb, sealed beam, unit or lamp fails to light properly'. Accordingly, the officer was authorized to stop the petitioner's vehicle to issue a defective-equipment notice", citing Exley v. Beecher, below. (NOTE: cross-reference to section involving back of ALS form)
Cadreact v. Beecher, 98-E-89, (Grafton, Fitzgerald, 11/10/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with inoperative rear license plate lights; court held that "such a condition … constitutes a violation of the motor vehicle safety laws … The Court further notes that the hearing officer's conclusion regarding the possibility of a pretextual stop withstands scrutiny. Officer Thompson testified that he often stops vehicles for the same violation, and does so without seeking to uncover DUI violations."
Drake v. Beecher, 97-E-546, (SD Hillsborough, Dalianis, 1/21/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle traveling too close to vehicle in front of him (estimated distance of eight feet); court held that "the record indicates that Forsley: (1) observed Drake traveling in a westbound direction on Route 101; (2) observed that Drake's vehicle was following the vehicle directly in front of him at an estimated distance of eight feet; and (3) observed the road conditions"; sufficient to stop, citing State v. Brodeur, State v. Mortrud and State v. Kennison. (NOTE: cross-reference to illegal detention and Section I of procedural issues involving ALS cases; also SEE decision on Motion to Reconsider which is a very detailed and thorough discussion on articulable suspicion for stop, citing several cases!)
Charbonneau v. Beecher, 97-E-545, (SD Hillsborough, Dalianis, 1/15/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with only parking lights on at 7:25; court held that "… the officer was justified in stopping petitioner for either a violation of RSA 265:109 or because he posed a danger to public safety. Although the officer did use the word 'curious', he explained that he was concerned that there was a vehicle malfunction, which would certainly be a public safety hazard". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section II and V of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Exley v. Beecher, 97-E-192, (ND Hillsborough, Sullivan, 10/6/97) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with inoperative left rear license plate light; court held that the officer "… certainly had the right to stop the petitioner to inform him that he had a defective rear plate light and request that he get it fixed, especially where the inspection regulations require that both lights be working in vehicles equipped with two lights", citing Towle v. Beecher, below. (NOTE: this was a very detailed opinion citing several cases outside of the jurisdiction on motor vehicle stops!)
Towle v. Beecher, 97-E-60, (Belknap, McHugh, 8/5/97) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle taillight that was only partially illuminated; plaintiff claimed that he was not in violation of any statute and had not committed any motor vehicle violation therefore stop was illegal; court held that "while a portion of a police officer's duty is to summons drivers for breaking the motor vehicle laws, another portion involves the protection of the public and giving assistance to motor vehicle operators when needed. The law states that while a police officer cannot arbitrarily stop a motor vehicle for no reason, he can investigate any unusual conditions that the operation of a particular vehicle may present"; "… the Court finds and rules that the officer's stop of the plaintiff … was not arbitrary and without reason but rather was to investigate or at least alert the driver that there was a problem with one of his taillights. On that basis the Court finds that the stop was not illegal". (NOTE: this was a very well-reasoned and detailed opinion on the issue of motor vehicle stops!)
Nash v. Beecher, 97-E-157, (Rockingham, Coffey, 7/22/97) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with one taillight out; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to illegal detention and Section II of issues involving chemical tests)
Canino v. Beecher, 96-E-476, (Rockingham, Gray, 2/28/97) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle fail to dim headlights and operate erratically; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: there is no discussion in decision of the type of erratic operation)
Dubois v. Beecher, 96-E-100, (ND Hillsborough, Brennan, 6/18/96) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with no rear license plate and malfunctioning rear license plate light; upon stopping vehicle, vehicle drove away and had to be stopped again; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: several cases cited pertaining to reasons for stop from this and other jurisdictions; also cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Koyianis v. Beecher, 96-E-38, (ND Hillsborough, Conboy, 5/15/96) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with no headlights at 10:44PM; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: several cases cited pertaining to reasons for stop from this and other jurisdictions; also cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section I of refusal)
Quinn v. Beecher, 96-E-3, (Merrimack, Manias, 4/29/96) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle leaving parking lot of store at high rate of speed while officer was responding to a report that clerk at same store had been threatened; sufficient to stop, citing State v. Reid, State v. Melanson and State v. Pellicci.
Wescott v. Beecher, 95-E-249, (Merrimack, Manias, 12/27/95) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with expired inspection sticker; officer admitted that he did not review registration upon stopping vehicle because he detected an odor of alcohol and began an investigation for possible DWI; court held that "… a police officer has the authority to detain a person who the officer believes committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime … inherent in that authority is the ability to investigate any further illegal activity based upon facts that come to the officer's attention during the lawful stop", citing State v. Pellicci.
Cullinan v. Beecher, 95-E-57, (Carroll, Abramson, 11/1/95) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with defective plate light; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section IV of refusal)
Jensen v. Turner, 95-E-85, (Belknap, McHugh, 8/29/95) AFFIRMED
Officer's police report indicated that plaintiff's vehicle was stopped for going through a red light; at hearing, officer indicated that behavior more properly constituted an illegal left-hand turn; court held that "… the plaintiff's decision to make a left-hand turn after leaving Rich's Plaza from the right-hand turn lane was an abnormal decision and one which caught the attention of the arresting officer … while it is true that technically the plaintiff's maneuver could not be deemed to be running a red light, it is easy to understand why the officer chose those terms for his report …"; court concluded that the error was de minimis and did not make officer's testimony not credible.
Soldi v. Turner, E-94-164, (Belknap, Galway, 3/10/95) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle cross yellow lines on three occasions within three-quarters of mile; court held that "these violations occurred at approximately 12:30AM, after the officer noticed the vehicle leaving the parking lot of a drinking establishment"; sufficient to stop, citing State v. Reid and State v. Oxley. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section II of refusal)
Gagne v. Turner, 94-E-271-B, (SD Hillsborough, Murphy, 1/20/95) AFFIRMED
Observed truck accelerate at high rate of speed (estimated at 45/50 mph in 30 mph zone); plaintiff claimed it was vehicle next to him which "burned rubber" and had passenger to support him; officer did not remember passenger in vehicle at all; court credited officer's testimony; sufficient to stop, citing State v. Reid.
Beaulieu v. Turner, 94-E-417, (ND Hillsborough, Barry, 12/15/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle cross yellow lines in rear view mirror by three feet and then observed driver throw lighted cigarette from vehicle; sufficient to stop.
Jakubens v. Turner, 94-E-383, (ND Hillsborough, Barry, 11/17/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle at 1:25 AM with no headlights; plaintiff indicated that he thought they were on; sufficient to stop.
Aloupis v. Turner, 94-E-171, (Merrimack, Mangones, 10/18/94) REVERSED ON OTHER GROUNDS
Officer cut off by vehicle failing to yield at a yield sign getting on to highway; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section III of refusal)
Janelle v. Turner, 94-E-317, (Rockingham, Barry, 8/11/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle traveling at 56 mph in a 35 mph zone; court determined that officer "had more than probable cause to stop the plaintiff. He witnessed an actual violation of the traffic laws". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Scheurich v. Turner, 94-E-167-B, (SD Hillsborough, Hampsey, 7/13/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with no taillights; plaintiff argued that since there was no MOVING violation, could not proceed to investigate further; court held that appeal was frivolous as plaintiff cited no authority for that position which is in "striking conflict with the law of New Hampshire as enunciated in several cases including State v. Landry".
Nadeau v. Turner, 94-E-36, (Merrimack, Manias, 3/21/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with inoperative headlight; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Delanoy v. Turner, 93-676, (Merrimack, Smukler, 1/20/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with expired inspection sticker; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to illegal detention section)
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II. Erratic Operation
Dyer v. Beecher, 00-E-159, (SD Hillsborough, Hollman, 8/4/00) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle at 40 mph in a 30 mph zone in snowy conditions; vehicle swerved back and forth within lane on several occasions and swerved sharply to avoid hitting a pedestrian pushing a bicycle; sufficient to stop, citing State v. McBrearity. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section I of issues involving chemical tests)
Holt v. Beecher, 99-E-389, (ND Hillsborough, Lynn, 11/16/99) AFFIRMED
Observed motorcycle "pop wheely"; "The hearings officer did not find that the motorcycle was not moving when it did the 'wheely'; only that it was not speeding … It is entirely possible for a motorcycle to accelerate quickly enough to do a wheely even though it is not then exceeding the speed limit". (NOTE: This is the extent of the written decision!)
Part v. Beecher, 99-E-289, (SD Hillsborough, Hampsey, 9/28/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle cross over the fog line three times; sufficient to stop, citing State v. McBreairty. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Guimond v. Beecher, 99-E-279, (ND Hillsborough, Sullivan, 8/27/99) AFFIRMED
"The petitioner's vehicle was being operated erratically, it's speed fluctuated between 45 and 60 miles per hour, it drifted to the white fog line and over it and on to the gravel shoulder, and it jerked back toward the yellow line accelerating as it did so". (NOTE cross-reference to Section I of probable cause; Section VI of refusal and Section V of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Athorn v. Beecher, 99-E-47, (SD Hillsborough, Murphy, 8/4/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle leave parking lot in "entrance only" lane; then observed vehicle drift onto yellow line for about a half-mile; court held that "An officer may conduct an investigatory stop if he or she believes in good faith that the driver was ill or physically unfit to drive … The officer testified that, based on his observations of the vehicle exiting an entrance and twice drifting onto the center yellow line, he believed 'there was something wrong with the operator, either impairment, sickness or fatigue'", citing State v. Maynard. (NOTE cross-reference to Section III, below, and Section I of probable cause)
Flewelling v. Beecher, 98-E-433, (SD Hillsborough, Brennan, 7/30/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with loud engine and muffler, and dark tinted back window; followed vehicle and observed it sway within lane; sufficient to stop, citing State v. McBreairty. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause, Section V of refusal and Section IV of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Hartman v. Beecher, 99-E-240, (Rockingham, Galway, 7/16/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle make a complete stop for a green light and then travel slowly; vehicle partially crossed center line into travel lane of oncoming traffic; vehicle turned without using signal then stopped in middle of road before pulling over to side; court held that "The facts in this case justify the investigatory stop of petitioner … it was not unreasonable for the hearings officer to find that there was reasonable grounds for Officer Newcomb to believe Ms. Hartman was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol at the time he stopped her". (NOTE: cross-reference to illegal detention section)
Driscoll v. Beecher, 99-E-138, (SD Hillsborough, Dalianis, 6/10/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle cross the yellow line twice and exceed 50mph in 35mph zone; court held that "the officer's observations constituted a specific factual basis for believing that the petitioner violated the law, which provided sufficient justification for stopping the petitioner", citing State v. Roach and State v. McBreairty. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Leduc v. Beecher, 98-E-694, (Rockingham, Coffey, 3/30/99) AFFIRMED
"The conditions involving this particular motor vehicle stop are unusual enough to provide the officer with a reasonable articulable suspicion to stop the vehicle, for safety reasons alone, as the vehicle was continually weaving in its lane for a mile of travel".
Elesi v. Beecher, 98-E-444, (SD Hillsborough, Hollman, 2/25/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle drift from fog line and cross the center line as well as drift within its own lane; "Based on the trooper's observation of the petitioner's erratic driving, the stop of petitioner's vehicle was valid". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and section involving back of ALS form)
Donovan v. Beecher, 98-E-595, (Rockingham, Galway, 1/8/99) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle drive over the yellow line three times and touch the fog line; police report indicated that plaintiff touched yellow line but did not go over it; "… the Hearings Examiner found in his report that it was irrelevant '[w]hether the [plaintiff] touched or drove over the yellow line' as both constitute erratic driving. Upon review, the Court finds that this determination was reasonable and lawful".
Loring v. Beecher, 98-E-132, (Strafford, Mohl, 11/25/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle "drift" from travel lane to passing lane three times; at some point, trooper activated video camera in cruiser prior to initiating stop; plaintiff claimed that poor visibility due to inclement weather and videotape failed to justify stop; "… Examiner Brown found that the Division produced sufficient evidence independent of the video to support the petitioner's detention. Specifically, Trooper Downey noted in his report and testified at the hearing that shortly after midnight he observed the petitioner's vehicle cross over the line from the travel lane into the passing lane three times before he made the decision to pull him over … This direct, uncontested testimony is sufficient under the above-mentioned standard to warrant the brief intrusion of a traffic stop".
Brennan v. Beecher, 98-E-155, (SD Hillsborough, Dalianis, 9/28/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle make sudden, erratic movements, including crossing the fog line; court held that "regardless of whether the petitioner's vehicle was traveling within the speed limit or on a road of 'S-curves', as the petitioner alleges, the hearing examiner did not err in finding that erratic operation provided sufficient articulable facts together with rational inferences from those facts to justify an investigatory stop", citing State v. Landry.(NOTE: cross-reference to Section III of probable cause)
Barbagallo v. Beecher, 98-E-22, (Rockingham, Gray, 3/30/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle at intersection of Route 28 and Main Street in Salem NH; vehicle was blocking a portion of right-hand lane of Route 28 and rear wheels of vehicle were in stop area of Main Street; vehicle did not move for approximately 20 seconds after light changed to green and officer had to honk horn to get vehicle to move; after vehicle made right turn, it proceeded for 100 yards at 20 mph in 30 mph zone; court held that "the officer's suspicions were aroused by the totality of the plaintiff's conduct that when the plaintiff proceeded at a slow rate of speed away from an otherwise poor stop at the intersection, the officer was justified in further investigation of the driver. The fact that the officer waited to make the stop is of no import. He could well have cited the operator at the intersection for the method in which the car blocked Route 28".
Clark v. Beecher, 97-E-208, (Merrimack, Brennan, 1/28/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle following a bicycle and approach to within one-half car length of bicycle, whereupon the vehicle braked steadily; court held that "with the bicycle in the middle of the street, followed by the petitioner's car moving at 25mph, even assuming a half car length to be 16 feet, the driver would only have one-half second to react to any kind of problem the bicyclist might have. Officer Shapiro did not need probable cause for the stop, only a reasonable suspicion that 'the driver was following another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic and the condition of the way'".
Bournival v. Beecher, 95-E-353, (ND Hillsborough, Conboy, 2/21/96) AFFIRMED
Officer on mountain bike; observed vehicle leaving parking lot of a bar; vehicle slowed as if to allow officer to pass in front of it then sped up, forcing officer to pull bike away from vehicle; court held that "… the petitioner nearly collided with Officer Soucy and disregarded Officer Soucy's initial command to halt. These actions gave Officer Soucy the requisite reasonable suspicion to stop the petitioner", citing State v. Pellicci, State v. Maya and State v. Brodeur.
Broulidakis v. Beecher, 95-E-332, (Merrimack, McGuire, 2/8/96) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle traveling to the extreme right of the roadway in an area reserved for parking spaces; drifted back into lane then back into extreme right-hand side of roadway; vehicle then made wide sweeping turn into opposite lane before drifting back into its own lane; sufficient to stop.
Howe v. Beecher, 95-E-374, (Rockingham, McHugh, 11/3/95) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle screech its tires on two separate occasions in the presence of the cruiser; officer stopped vehicle because behavior was so "unusual"; court held that "… simply put, this case involved a routine investigatory traffic stop; it is not an investigation of first degree murder"; court concluded that "… any unusual behavior by the operator of a motor vehicle warrants the limited intrusion of an investigatory stop", even though a violation of law has not been committed; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section II of probable cause, Section I of refusal and Section I of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Marston v. Beecher, 95-E-182, (ND Hillsborough, Conboy, 10/18/95) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle with all four tires ahead of the stop-line; vehicle then made right-hand turn without using signal; then observed vehicle straddle the center line of roadway; court concluded that Hearings Examiner "… correctly applied the legal standard when he determined that the articulated facts formed a reasonable basis for the officer's suspicion of illegal activity". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section IV of refusal)
Amann v. Beecher, 95-E-28, (Merrimack, McGuire, 3/21/95) AFFIRMED
observed vehicle drive over a curb and sidewalk, then overshoot stop sign, never fully stopping; sufficient to stop.
House v. Turner, 95-E-25, (Merrimack, Arnold, 3/6/95) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle jerk back and forth on two or three occasions within lane of travel, although vehicle did not cross line or strike curb at side of road; concerned about erratic operation; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section V of refusal)
Martin v. Turner, 95-E-29, (ND Hillsborough, Arnold, 3/3/95) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle approaching from opposite direction at an unusually slow rate of speed "so as to impair the normal flow of traffic"; failed to dim headlights upon approaching oncoming traffic; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause, Section I of refusal and Section II of issues involving chemical tests)
Rouillier v. Turner, 95-E-10, (ND Hillsborough, Conboy, 2/23/95) REVERSED
Observed vehicle in alley well-known for drug activity; followed vehicle and stopped it after failing to use turn signal upon making right-hand turn; court held that "… no citation or verbal warning was issued for the turn signal violation. The officers were not planning to issue a ticket for speeding or for a parking violation. The turn was during the early morning hours, traffic was very light, and there was no evidence of hazardous weather or other conditions that would make such an unsignalled turn dangerous. There were no equipment problems with the vehicle. Petitioner was not driving erratically"; court concluded that stop was pretextual and that "no reasonable officer would have stopped petitioner solely for failing to use his turn signal under the circumstances". (NOTE: very detailed discussion of pretextual stops in this written opinion!)
Leone v. Turner, 94-E-111, (Carroll, O'Neill, J., 12/29/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle swerve and drift within lane from center line to edge of paved road; observed yellow line violation; vehicle did not stop immediately; both officers had in their report that there was white fog line on road but actually there was not, making credibility a major issue; court held that there was a "particularized and objective basis" for believing plaintiff was engaged in criminal activity, citing State v. Parker and State v. Glaude. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section V of refusal)
DiStefano v. Turner, 94-E-227, (Merrimack, Arnold, 10/14/94) AFFIRMED
Officer received information from unknown citizen that vehicle was operating erratically; officer followed vehicle for one mile; observed vehicle cross the yellow line and white fog line on two or three occasions; plaintiff claimed that weaving during bad weather is a normal occurrence; "the Court finds otherwise". (NOTE: cross-reference to anonymous complaints, Section I of probable cause and section involving back of ALS form)
Passemato v. Turner, 94-E-106, (Rockingham, Gray, 7/7/94) REVERSED
Trooper observed vehicle in driveway and checked it out; smelled alcohol in vehicle but no indication that occupants were impaired; kept driving by and when vehicle left driveway, he followed it; stopped vehicle after observing it drive too slowly on highway (estimated at 35 mph); no evidence of erratic operation and court found that vehicle could have been accelerating to higher speed; court held that there were no reasonable grounds for stop and indicated that it was apparent that "officer was going to stop that vehicle, regardless of the circumstances".
Brewer v. Turner, 94-E-88-B, (SD Hillsborough, Dalianis, 6/9/94) AFFIRMED
Observed slow-moving vehicle which abruptly turned into parking lot; stopped to check vehicle out and as he was talking to driver of another vehicle, observed female driver (with some signs of impairment) pull back onto road; followed that vehicle and observed it swerve within lane, miss driveway two times and make wide turn; plaintiff claimed she missed driveway because of snow-covered roads and high snowbanks; sufficient to stop, citing State v. Glaude. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section I of refusal)
White v. Turner, 94-E-133, (ND Hillsborough, Groff, 6/10/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle skid in snow and fishtail on snow-covered and slippery roads; lost sight of vehicle then observed it "doing donuts" in a parking lot; plaintiff denied everything officer observed; court held that plaintiff's testimony was "improbable and unreasonable"; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section II of probable cause)
Brown v. Turner, 94-E-53, (Merrimack, McGuire, 5/19/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle for one mile; speed continually fluctuated; drifted within its lane; abrupt right-hand turn onto dead end street; plaintiff denied everything officer observed; court credited officer's testimony; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Nickerson v. Turner, 94-E-16, (Merrimack, McGuire, 3/28/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle leave drinking establishment at 12:45 AM and proceeded to follow vehicle; observed it drift off the road onto the shoulder twice; court held that officer presumably followed vehicle out of concern that operator may be impaired but did not stop vehicle until he noticed erratic operation thus not pretextual in nature and sufficient to stop vehicle, citing State v. Oxley. (NOTE: good discussion of pretextual stops in follow-up order on Motion To Reconsider!)
Sexton v. Turner, 94-E-28-B, (SD Hillsborough, Hampsey, 3/21/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle cross white fog line twice, nearly hitting guardrail; plaintiff stated that he was reaching for his cigarette lighter; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of refusal)
Paquette v. Turner, 94-E-7, (Merrimack, McGuire, 3/11/94) AFFIRMED
Officer turned around to follow vehicle but did not remember why; observed vehicle make a turn without using signal; stopping the middle of the road for no apparent reason; fluctuate speed; drift within lane and accelerate rapidly; sufficient to stop.
Brittain v. Turner, 94-E-675, (Merrimack, Smukler, 1/25/94) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle fail to negotiate two curves; drift within lane; put high beams on in passing lane while following another vehicle; sufficient to stop.
Burnham v. Turner, 93-E-314, (Merrimack, Arnold, 12/14/93) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle exit from parking lot to street in erratic manner, namely, coming straight out and crossing the yellow lines before returning to its proper lane; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section I of refusal)
Gustafson v. Turner, 93-E-413, (Merrimack, Arnold, 10/15/93) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle in parking lot at high rate of speed and making abrupt turns, described as "cutting donuts"; plaintiff indicated it was late at night, no other vehicles were around and there was no squealing or skidding; court held that the operation "reasonably caused concern to Officer Oliveri to justify his stop of the vehicle". (NOTE: cross-reference to section involving back of ALS form)
Savage v. Turner, 93-E-346, (Merrimack, Arnold, 9/24/93) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle slow but not come to a complete stop at intersection (although not clear if there was stop sign in that location); no other erratic operation; sufficient to stop. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Blondeau v. Turner, 93-E-249, (Merrimack, O'Neill, J., 7/2/93) REVERSED
Observed two snowmobiles cross a public way and then flip over; court held that there was no objective basis for suspecting criminal activity since it is not unlawful to cross the public way in the manner done so and no articulable facts that plaintiff was unfit to drive when snowmobile flipped over, citing several cases including State v. Glaude, State v. Maynard and State v. Oxley.
Stickney v. Turner, 93-E-74, (SD Hillsborough, Dalianis, 6/9/93) AFFIRMED
IMPLIED CONSENT NOT ALS: Observed vehicle in opposite direction; vehicle completely crossed into officer's travel lane, causing officer to slam on brakes and activate siren to get the attention of the driver; avoided collision; plaintiff denied he crossed into officer's lane of travel; court held that "the petitioner's operation of his vehicle was grossly erratic and he offered no explanation. That operation alone provided reasonable grounds for stopping the vehicle". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Squier v. Turner, 93-E-36, (Merrimack, McGuire, 2/22/93) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle make wide turn, crossing into other lane; then observed it cross into opposite lane for 40-50 feet; vehicle then made another wide turn; court held that "petitioner's operation of his truck constituted probable cause to stop him. The Court notes, however, that the State was only required to prove that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that petitioner was operating under the influence of alcohol, a lesser standard than probable cause". (NOTE: this was the first ALS appeal to Superior Court!)
McLaughlin v. Turner, 92-E-486, (ND Hillsborough, Barry, 8/7/92) AFFIRMED
IMPLIED CONSENT NOT ALS: Observed vehicle approach flashing yellow light and stop completely for a period of 7-10 seconds; then observed vehicle make left turn and travel onto double yellow line and then onto white fog line; plaintiff denied that operation and indicated that she swayed because she was looking at officer's vehicle in her rear-view mirror; court held that there was reasonable suspicion "by virtue of the fact of the unusual and inordinately long stop at the yellow flashing light and the erratic operation once her turn was made", citing State v. Pellicci, State v. Parker and State v. Kenison.
Werkelin v. Turner, 92-E-251, (Rockingham, Brennan, 7/10/92) AFFIRMED
IMPLIED CONSENT NOT ALS:
observed vehicle driving very slowly; used directional lights inappropriately; crossed over the yellow line; "taken alone, any one of those actions might not constitute probable cause for the stop; however, the time-span in which the actions occurred, the weather conditions (dry and clear), the lack of traffic, and the education and experience of Sgt. Famulari in such matters, led the Court to the conclusion that there was probable cause for the stop". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of refusal)
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III. Issues Involving "Way"
Knibbs V. Director, 08-E-163 (Belknap, Smukler, 10/31/08) AFFIRMED
The respondent was first observed in a parking area shared by the American Legion and Blake Industries. After observing the respondent outside his vehicle, the officer effected the stop after the respondent had started the engine. The officer found probable cause to arrest the respondent for DWI. The respondent refused the requested testing and the administrative suspension was upheld. On appeal, the respondent argues that the parking area was not a way as defined in RSA 259:125 (II). The court determined that the definition of "way" includes private parking lots and the respondent was in such a lot at the time of the stop.
DeCarlois v. Beecher, 08-E-0125, (Rockingham, McHugh, 06/24/08) AFFIRMED
Petitioner was arrested for DWI, and refused to consent to testing. Petitioner argued insufficient evidence of way and insufficient evidence of reasonable grounds. The hearings examiner found the motor vehicle was driven on roads open to vehicular traffic that had names. Suspension was sustained because the evidence showed roads were ways of the state. The Court ruled there was sufficient evidence to support the Hearings Examiner's findings and warrant the license suspension. (Reasonable grounds issue addressed in Section 7).
Gauthier v. Beecher, 07-E-0202,(Strafford, Fauver, 02/11/08) AFFIRMED
Petitioner was arrested for DWI, and refused to consent to testing. The motor vehicle was driven on the sidewalk and crossed an alleyway which accessed a parking lot open to the public for a business. Suspension was sustained because the alley was a way. The Court ruled there was sufficient evidence to support the Hearings Examiner's findings and warrant the license suspension. A motion for reconsideration was denied by the Court.
Nickerson v. Beecher, 07-E-0436,(Rockingham, Brown, 01/28/08) REVERSED
Petitioner was arrested for DWI, and refused to consent to testing. Petitioner argued just one issue, insufficient evidence of way. The Hearings Examiner found private parking lot of elderly care facility was a way under the statute (RSA 259:125 II). The Court disagreed and ruled the Hearings Examiner's decision was unjust and unreasonable because the evidence was insufficient to show the parking lot was generally maintained for the benefit of the public. Court denied the Director's motion for reconsideration.
Senior v. Beecher, 07-E-0209,(Belknap, Smukler, 12/27/07) AFFIRMED
Arrested for DWI, refused testing. Petitioner alleged the record contained insufficient evidence to show (1) reasonable grounds to believe impairment and (2) that the evidence showed actual physical control on a way. Petitioner did not provide a transcript. The evidence in the record was odor of alcohol from petitioner, red and glassy eyes, admission to four beers, unsteadiness on his feet, and clues of impairment on the field sobriety tests. There was also evidence that Boat Ramp Road was a way and the vehicle was half on the travel portion of it with Petitioner in the driver's seat. Court ruled there was sufficient evidence to support the Hearings Examiner's findings and warrant the license suspension.
Walshaw v. Beecher, 05-E-185, (Merrimack, Fitzgerald, 09/15/05) AFFIRMED
Petitioner appealed, alleging the evidence of "way" was insufficient. At the hearing, Petitioner's girlfriend testified she had driven to the parking lot, not Petitioner. This was not told to the officer until the hearing. Hearings Examiner rejected the testimony of the girlfriend. The Court found no error.
Martin V. Beecher, 05-E-075, (S. Hillsborough, Groff, 05/17/05) REVERSED
The only issue was whether or not a private driveway was a " way " under RSA 259:125 II; There was no direct evidence of operation on either Route 111 or Central Ave which were both about thirty feet away from the ditch the car slid into. Examiner had cited to State v. Pinkham in his ruling. The court determined there was no evidence that driveway was a way or of a semi-private nature under Pinkham. Court found that the examiner's finding was unreasonable.
Harbeck v. Beecher, 04-E-484 (S.D. Hillsborough, Lynn, 04/27/05) AFFIRMED
Petitioner's motorcycle was found by EMT half in the road and half in the driveway; it was moved when the officer arrived; petitioner alleged evidence was not sufficient to find "way" Court held: … "way" was established by a preponderance of the evidence even though there was another possible inference. Hearings Examiner's finding was reasonable. (Cross-reference Section 8; Issues involving refusal)
Lombardi v. Beecher, 02-E-401 (ND Hillsborough, Brennan, 01/21/03) AFFIRMED
Petitioner parked in public parking area after midnight. City ordinance prohibited parking between 11:00pm and 5:00am; petitioner alleged it is not a "way" during prohibited hours. Court held: …"way" can be defined by any of the enumerated phrases in the statute, including "any public…parking lot" or a "privately owned or maintained way open for public use."…the fact that this public parking lot was not available to the public for parking between the hours of 11:00pm and 5:00am does not render the lot a "private" lot for those hours, thus requiring that it be 'open to the public' in order to be considered a "way". (Cross-reference Section 2 Issues involving actual physical control of motor vehicle)
Schwed v. Beecher, 02-E-306, (ND Hillsborough, Conboy, 1/2/03) AFFIRMED
Petitioner claimed that the Hearings Examiner erred in concluding that his vehicle was on a "way" as defined by RSA 259:125;.the examiner concluded that the alleyway, although privately owned, was maintained for public use and met the requirements of RSA 259. Court held: … based on the testimony provided at the hearing, the Hearings Examiner's determination that the alleyway is a "way" under the statute was reasonable and lawful. (NOTE: cross-reference Section I, IV Miscellaneous;issues regarding various grounds for stop.)
Deeney v. Beecher, 01-E-540, (SD Hillsborough, Hampsey, 4/10/02) AFFIRMED
petitioner claimed that there was insufficient evidence that Fox Hollow Drive in Nashua is a way; "Fox Hollow Drive is, as Officer Connor testified, a "privately maintained way," "open to the public" "servicing the [Fox Hollow] condominium development."; court finds that Officer Connor's testimony regarding Fox Hollow Drive, which was apparently uncontroverted, is sufficient evidence that Fox Hollow Drive fits the definition of a "way" as provided by RSA 259:125, II.
Jacobson v. Beecher, 01-E-025, (Sullivan, Morrill, 12/17/01) AFFIRMED
Vehicle stopped in parking lot of petitioner's home with the engine running and a male subject in the driver's seat; court held that "… the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the arrested person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a vehicle upon the ways of this state … RSA 265:91-b, II (a). (NOTE: cross-reference Section 7, I probable cause and Section 8, I Informing of ALS rights)
Archibald V. Beecher, 00-E-337, (Rockingham, Abramson, 4/26/01) AFFIRMED
petitioner claimed that the Examiner never took official notice that South Road in Rye, NH is a "way" pursuant to RSA 265:91-b;Court held: "not all procedural irregularities require a reviewing court to set aside an administrative decision; material prejudice to the complaining party must be shown." … the court does not find, that the Examiner's failure to state on the record that he took notice of South Road being a "way" in the State … has caused the petitioner any prejudice. (NOTE: Section 2, Issues regarding Actual Physical Control of MV)
Ward v. Beecher, 00-E-361, (Merrimack, Fitzgerald, 2/13/01) AFFIRMED
Arrested in driveway, 16' from paved road; road right-of-way 50' wide; petitioner alleges "way" includes only the paved portion of highway. HELD: This issue was thoroughly discussed in Olson v. Beecher, 99-E-220,(Merr. Cty Super. Ct,10/6/99) …"the definition of a way embodied in RSA 259:125,II, without similar words of limitation found under RSA 259:125, I, includes the area in the public right-of-way and is not limited to the paved section of the roadway. Id. at 8-9.(NOTE: cross-reference to Section 5, jurisdictional issue involving ALS cases; Section 9, III Delay in obtaining breath test results; Section 8, I Informing of ALS rights)
Gregg v. Beecher, 00-E-120, (SD Hillsborough, Brennan, 9/5/00) AFFIRMED
Vehicle involved in accident, after driving around in circles in a field; court held that "… Officer MacDonald noted skid marks beginning just before a stop sign on Howe Drive, a public way. The tracks continued straight across North Hollis Road, also a public way, then went through Mr. Taylor's fence and into his field. The officer also observed that there were tire tracks in the field that terminated at the Plaintiff's car, as though the Plaintiff had been driving around in circles after crashing into the field". NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause, actual physical control, Section I of probable cause and Section V of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Stephen v. Beecher, 00-E-47, (Merrimack, Manias, 7/12/00) AFFIRMED
Vehicle stopped in parking lot of gas station; court held that "… the definition of 'way' under RSA 258:125, II clearly indicates the gas station as a parking lot and other outdoor area of a commercial establishment generally maintained for the benefit of the public. Even assuming that the gas station parking lot and area by the gas pumps were not a 'way' under the statutory meaning, Officer Dyrkacz testified that the petitioner explained that he left his girlfriend's home after an argument and drove on Highway 3-A to the gas station for fuel and milk". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section IV, below; Section I of probable cause and Section V of refusal)
Mannarini v. Beecher, 00-E-216, (Rockingham, McHugh, 6/22/00) AFFIRMED
Vehicle stuck in snow bank, partially on pavement of the only road leading to a private mobile home complex; court held that "… under RSA 259:125 II, the legislature specifically provided that any privately owned way open for public use shall satisfy the requirements of a 'way' under RSA 265:82. As such the road upon which the plaintiff's vehicle was located constituted a 'way' for purposes of this proceeding". (NOTE: there is no description of the road in the court's decision, only in the supporting documents; also, cross-reference to Section IV of probable cause)
Stevens v. Beecher, 00-E-47, (Rockingham, Abramson, 3/8/00) AFFIRMED
vehicle stopped in parking lot located at end of dirt road; New Hampshire Fish and Game maintain boat launch, access road and parking lot, and all are open to public 24 hours a day; "Since Stevens' car was in a public parking lot, maintained by the state, based on the statutory definition of a 'way' the Court finds and rules that Stevens was on a 'way' for purposes of RSA 265:82, citing State v. Rosier. (NOTE: cross-reference to actual physical control and Section IV of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Dow v. Beecher, 99-E-515, (Rockingham, Murphy, 11/29/99) AFFIRMED
Vehicle stopped in parking lot of American Legion; plaintiff claimed there was insufficient evidence to establish that parking lot is way; court held that "… the parking lot, while private, was not closed to the general public and was used, not only by members of the American Legion, but by the entire community", citing RSA 259:125, II.
Olson v. Beecher, 99-E-220, (Merrimack, Manias, 10/6/99) AFFIRMED
Vehicle stopped at edge of driveway on Route 103; plaintiff claimed that the language of RSA 259:125, II does not contain language of Paragraph I pertaining to "the entire width between the boundary lines", therefore vehicle was not on "way"; "Absent the specific phrase defining a way as between the foglines, the Court finds that the common understanding of way is much broader under paragraph II. Whenever a road is laid out in the State of New Hampshire, the State obtains a corresponding 'right-of-way'. This public right-of-way allows state and local officials to make necessary improvements … To conceive of any public roadway without a corresponding right-of-way ignores a fundamental aspect of our state highway system. Accordingly, the Court finds that the definition of way embodied in RSA 259:125, II, without similar words of limitation found under RSA 259:125, I, includes the public right-of-way". (NOTE: cross-reference to illegal detention section)
Athorn v. Beecher, 99-E-47, (SD Hillsborough, Murphy, 8/4/99) AFFIRMED
Plaintiff claimed that there was insufficient evidence that Main Street in Nashua is a way; "… Officer John Yurcak stated that he observed the petitioner drive his vehicle out of the parking lot of the Globe Plaza and proceed south on Main Street in Nashua … Just prior to that, Officer Yurcak recommended the hearings officer take judicial notice that Main Street is a public way, and counsel for the petitioner stated he had no objection to the examiner doing so. Therefore the Court finds and rules that judicial notice was taken of the fact that Main Street in Nashua is a 'way'". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I, above, and Section I of probable cause)
Glendye v. Beecher, 99-E-35, (Merrimack, Manias, 7/26/99) AFFIRMED
Plaintiff claimed that there was insufficient evidence that Route 93 is a way; "The testimony of Trooper Johnston established that the stop was made on Route 93, an interstate with exits, entrance ramps, mile posts, posted speed limits, travel lanes and breakdown lanes … Because Respondent produced evidence of a way, the Hearings Examiner is not required to take judicial notice of that fact", citing LeBlanc v. Beecher, below. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section V of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Flewelling v. Beecher, 98-E-410, (Merrimack, Manias, 3/1/99) AFFIRMED
Plaintiff claimed that there was insufficient evidence that Interstate 89 is a way; "Trooper Curran testified that he was 'traveling southbound on Interstate 89, being a public way in the town of Hopkinton, New Hampshire'; that the Petitioner's vehicle was in the 'breakdown lane'; and that the vehicle was '50 feet north of the Concord city line sign' … While there is no indication that the Hearings Examiner took official notice that Interstate 89 is a way, the facts support the hearings examiner's factual determination that the petitioner was driving on 'a way in the State of New Hampshire'". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of procedural issues involving ALS cases; actual physical control and Section I of probable cause)
Harrington v. Beecher, 98-E-350, (Merrimack, Manias, 12/24/98) AFFIRMED
Plaintiff claimed that case should be dismissed because trooper did not request that official notice be taken that Route 93 is a way; "Trooper Clairmont testified that she was monitoring northbound and southbound traffic from the median on 'Interstate 93'; that she stopped the petitioner's vehicle on the 'shoulder'; that there was 'oncoming traffic'; that other vehicles were travelling on the road with the petitioner; that the petitioner switched from the 'left lane' to the 'right lane' and that he took the 'exit 13 off ramp'; and that the shoulder was 'paved' and next to a 'Jersey barrier' … because the hearings examiner concluded that the petitioner was operating his vehicle on a way based on the evidence rather than as a matter of official notice, it was unnecessary for Trooper Clairmont to request that official notice be taken".
LeBlanc v. Beecher, 98-E-55, (Strafford, Mohl, 7/8/98) AFFIRMED
Plaintiff claimed that there was insufficient evidence that Route 11 is a way; "The testimony of Officer Archibald established that the arrest was made on Route 11, a paved highway with painted lines within the city of Alton … Because the State produced evidence of 'way', the hearing examiner was not required to take judicial notice of that fact". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section II of issues involving chemical tests)
Kenison v. Turner, 94-E-69, (Coos, Perkins, 10/26/94) REVERSED
Only issue was whether or not there was a "way"; court took view of area; court described as "… unpaved, sandy dirt area by a packed gravel access/egress road to the back of the shopping center building and on the other side by a sand road which counsel advise was originally used as the access/egress road"; court determined it was not a parking lot and not for use by the public, citing RSA 259:125 II.
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IV. Miscellaneous
Leblanc v. Beecher,04-E-264, (Merrimack, Fitzgerald, 10/27/94) AFFIRMED
Arrested for DWI; Petitioner claims the police officer did not have reasonable grounds to stop him. Petitioner admitted to drinking; had red glassy eyes, smelled of alcohol, failed FST's, alone in the vehicle and in possession of the keys. COURT held: The Court finds that the evidence which was not challenged at the hearing and is not challenged now, is sufficient for the Hearings Examiner to find the Officer Palmer had reasonable grounds.
Turner v. Beecher, 03-E-202, (Merrimack, Fitzgerald, 09/09/03) AFFIRMED
Petitioner claimed that the arrest was unconstitutional; the arresting officer did not observe Petitioner driving; …, or that he was driving while under the influence of alcohol. Court held: Per Lopez, direct observation of operation is not required; the Hearings Examiner assessed the credibility of the state's witnesses and evidence at the hearing and reasonably concluded that Petitioner was impaired.
Schwed v. Beecher, 02-E-306, (ND Hillsborough, Conboy, 1/2/03) AFFIRMED
Petitioner asserts that the DMV decision is unlawful because the stop was invalid and therefore all evidence flowing from the stop must be suppressed…challenges the examiner's finding in light of Jacobs v. Beecher…currently before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Court held: The Hearings Examiner properly relied on a relatively recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision which holds that a constitutionally valid traffic stop is not required in order to sustain an otherwise valid administrative license suspension under RSA 265:91-b, and that the exclusionary rule does not apply to administrative hearings. See Lopez. (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I, III issues involving "way".)
Stonis v. Beecher, 02-E-152, (Grafton, Hicks, 12/17/02) AFFIRMED
At the ALS hearing, only issue was the constitutional validity of the stop; Hearings Examiner determined that under Lopez, the validity of the stop was not an issue for him to decide. Court held: "The Hearing Examiner understood the Lopez holding to mean that there is no legal requirement of reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle when that stop results in an ALS, under RSA 265:91" "The Court finds this reading of Lopez reasonable." … the petitioner's reliance on a superior court opinion Jacobs v. Beecher, … is misplaced."
Caron v. Beecher, 02-E-199, (Rockingham, Lewis, 10/25/02) AFFIRMED
Arrested for DWI;advised of ALS rights;refused test; Petitioner argued "Examiner" erred in considering evidence acquired after DWI arrest. Court held: "A valid traffic stop and a valid arrest, … are not required to uphold a license suspension. Lopez The validity of the arrest or the traffic stop leading to the arrest is not required by RSA 265:91-b to be established in order to sustain an ALS."
Sisti v. Beecher, 02-E-155, (Grafton, Smith,10/17/02) AFFIRMED
Arrested for DWI; informed of implied consent rights; refused breath test; Petitioner's Motion to Suppress at ALS hearing alleged invalid arrest; and error for the Hearings Examiner not to rule on the validity of the arrest; and, that Lopez had no precedential value. Court held: ALS suspension matters related to the choice of refusal to take a breath test are not subject to the potential defenses against criminal punishment for the act of driving. Zyla v. Turner. Also, the rules of evidence do not apply to administrative tribunals. In re Grimm, These two cases alone would invalidate … argument, even if the Supreme Court had not explicitly decided that the exclusionary rule does not apply to ALS in Lopez; … contention that Lopez lacks precedential value is incorrect as a matter of law; and the Hearings Examiner correctly relied on Lopez in refusing to adjudicate … Motion to Suppress.
Lodge v. Beecher, 02-E-105, (Grafton, Burling, 9/10/02) AFFIRMED
Dispatch reported possible impaired driver; officer did not observe violation or erratic operation; petitioner stopped and alleges stop was illegal. Held: In Lopez, … the Supreme Court held that because RSA 265:91-a, is not a criminal statute, criminal law does not apply to these proceedings. "A valid arrest and traffic stop while vital to a criminal proceeding is not a requirement under the ALS statute." (NOTE: Cross-reference to Section 10, IV collateral estoppel/double jeopardy)
Drew v. Beecher, 00-E-85, (Merrimack, Fitzgerald, 3/2/01) AFFIRMED
Stopped for a traffic violation; arrested for DWI; failed FST's;petitioner submitted to a breath test;claims his due process rights were violated by the admission of improper evidence at his ALS hearing; and the Hearings Examiner's response to his objection to the allegedly improper evidence. RSA 541-A:33, II (1997) and Saf-C 203.18 state the Hearings Examiner was within his authority to receive the police reports into evidence;Court held: "because the basis for Mr. Drew's objection appears to be a question of law that has been well settled in favor of the State's position, the Court cannot agree that … right to due process was violated. (NOTE: cross-reference Section 7, IV Miscellaneous Probable Cause and Section 9, IV Miscellaneous, Issues Involving Breath tests)
Stephen v. Beecher, 00-E-47, (Merrimack, Manias, 7/12/00) AFFIRMED
Pfficer stopped vehicle in parking lot of gas station; court held that "… around one o'clock in the morning at a closed gas station that had been recently robbed, the police observed the petitioner's car parked next to the gas pumps with the driver's door open, the headlights on, and the engine running. The officers also observed the petitioner in some nearby trees. The Court finds that the lateness of the hour and these observations, coupled with the officers' knowledge that the gas station had been robbed a few weeks earlier, create an articulable suspicion that a crime had been committed, was being committed, or was about to be committed". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section III, above; Section I of probable cause and Section V of refusal).
Peters v. Beecher, 00-E-43, (Belknap, Smukler, 6/9/00) AFFIRMED
Officer in plain clothes observed plaintiff in convenience store; plaintiff appeared to be intoxicated; officer then observed plaintiff driving out of parking lot onto street; officer stopped vehicle although he did not observe any motor vehicle violations; court held that "The combination of a reasonable suspicion of alcohol impairment with the observation of the petitioner's driving was sufficient to support the articulable suspicion that the petitioner was committing the crime of DWI. Under these circumstances, the stop was Constitutionally proper. The petitioner argues correctly that it is not a crime to drink alcoholic beverages and drive. The crime occurs when the person has consumed a sufficient quantity of alcoholic beverages so that he is impaired to any degree … Detective Adam's observations were sufficient to support an articulable suspicion that the petitioner had consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol to be impaired. When the detective further observed that the petitioner was driving, he was not required to wait until possible dangerous maneuvers provided additional facts. The detective already had sufficient facts", citing State v. Pellicci, Delaware v. Prouse and State v. Brodeur.
Christiansen v. Beecher, 99-E-52, (Strafford, Fauver, 8/31/99) REVERSED
Observed pickup truck parked in residential area while enforcing winter parking ban in effect; two people inside; officer drove by 15-20 minutes later and vehicle was still there; officer believed it was suspicious, due to time of day and year; stopped vehicle; arrested for DWI; court held that plaintiff was "seized" at time officer activated emergency lights and approached vehicle; court concluded that "… the officer observed a truck parked in a residential area after midnight on a winter night with two occupants inside who appeared to be talking for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. The court finds that these facts do not warrant further investigation", citing several cases involving investigative detention. (NOTE: very detailed opinion on issue; also, cross-reference to Section IV of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Smith v. Beecher, 98-E-168, (Grafton, Fitzgerald, 3/18/99) AFFIRMED
Officer approached plaintiff to investigate potential disorderly conduct; court held that "the officer testified that he heard loud voices and expletives in the general vicinity of the driveway in which the petitioner was standing on the night in question. Given the late hour (1:00 a.m.) and the rural nature of the surrounding areas, the officer was justified in approaching the petitioner". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Lopez v. Beecher, 98-E-62, (Grafton, Smith, 10/7/98) REVERSED
Observed vehicle traveling at slow rate of speed; vehicle turned into apartment complex; a short time later, trooper observed vehicle pull onto roadway from complex in an abrupt manner; trooper began to follow vehicle when he observed Lincoln police cruiser pursue the same vehicle with blue lights activated; vehicle stopped by Lincoln police officer with trooper pulling up behind Lincoln cruiser; court held that "there are no facts in the record establishing the basis for Officer McKinley's initial investigatory stop of the petitioner's van. To the contrary, Trooper Terhune admitted to having no idea why McKinley activated his blue lights or effected the stop of petitioner's van. In the absence of evidence sufficient to establish the legality of McKinley's stop all evidence subsequently obtained by Trooper Terhune should have been excluded from the hearing officer's consideration". (NOTE: this is a detailed opinion discussing the applicability of the exclusionary rule to administrative hearings)
Cormier v. Beecher, 98-E-22, (Coos, Perkins, 7/7/98) AFFIRMED
Snowmobile stopped at authorized sobriety checkpoint by Fish and Game officer; "The plaintiff has not attacked the Court's authorization for the sobriety check point in this court. A collateral attack made at the Department of Safety hearing and in this appeal is inappropriate. The Court has reviewed the authorization for the sobriety check point and all of the submissions given to the Court in support of the request. Assuming arguendo that such an attack is appropriate, the Court finds that that authorization was lawful".
Wageling v. Beecher, 98-E-9, (ND Hillsborough, Galway, 3/5/98) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle stopped at red light; when light turned green and vehicle started to move, observed female jump from passenger side of vehicle; as female moved away, observed rear passenger door open and close as vehicle accelerated; court held that there were "… facts sufficient to support a finding that the investigatory stop was made predicated on the officer's reasonable belief that criminal activity may have taken place"; court further stated that "… the Petitioner's assertion that an officer may never stop a vehicle unless he reasonably believes a crime has been or will be committed is unfounded", citing State v. Roach, State v. Maynard and State v. Severance. (NOTE: very detailed and lengthy discussion of reasons for stop!)
Jacobucci v. Beecher, 97-E-434, (Rockingham, Barry, 2/4/98) AFFIRMED
Officer received report of juveniles drinking alcohol in a vehicle; upon arrival, observed single vehicle in parking lot with passengers inside and two juveniles outside; as officer approached, vehicle started to drive away and he shouted for them to stop, which they did; "Officer Morelli could reasonably have suspected, among other crimes, that the occupants of the car were juveniles who had been illegally consuming alcohol. Thus, it cannot be said that the hearing officer's determination that the stop was proper is clearly unreasonable or unlawful". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause)
Guay v. Beecher, 96-E-71 (Rockingham, Gray, 4/26/96) AFFIRMED
Officer received report from dispatch of potential drive-by shooting involving male operator of maroon Monte Carlo at or near Gilley's in Portsmouth NH; officer responded to area within 30 seconds of report and observed brown Monte Carlo with male operator drive into parking lot of Gilley's; court held that "… the evidence demonstrates that Officer Weisberg had a short amount of time to deal with a potential violent crime"; "considering that it was relatively unlikely that two Monte Carlos with male passengers would be driving into Gilley's (a small establishment in Portsmouth) at approximately two o'clock in the morning, the Court finds that the Hearing Examiner's finding that Officer Weisberg had a reasonable articulable suspicion for the initial stop and seizure was not unlawful or unreasonable. The Court further finds that Officer Weisberg responded as citizens expect officers to respond in emergency situations". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section V of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Bourque v. Beecher, 95-E-113, (Grafton, Lynn, 4/18/96) AFFIRMED
Observed vehicle driving in breakdown lane of highway with hazard lights on and no headlights; plaintiff advised he was having car trouble; "the court finds this stop to be permissible as the officer was fulfilling his responsibility of maintaining road safety". (NOTE: cross-reference to Section I of probable cause and Section I of procedural issues involving ALS cases)
Lambert v. Beecher, 95-E-547, (Rockingham, Gray, 3/1/96) REVERSED
Officer informed by dispatcher "to be on the lookout for a possible drunk driver"; provided with registration number, type of vehicle and direction of travel; officer observed vehicle and followed for .3 miles until it pulled into driveway; observed no erratic operation but stopped vehicle anyway; court held that "… though Officer Sinclair was properly acting upon an anonymous tip, he then followed Plaintiff for at least .25 miles. In doing so, the officer created a situation in which any additional evidence of erratic or impaired driving would have added to his reasonable suspicion. In contrast, however, the ensuing absence of any such evidence created a situation in which he negated the reasonable suspicion that he would have had if he acted solely on the anonymous tip without giving himself time to observe the driver", citing State v. Pellicci and State v. Melanson.(NOTE: cross-reference to anonymous complaints section)
Fox v. Beecher, 95-E-339, (Merrimack, Manias, 2/16/96) AFFIRMED
Plaintiff claimed that trooper illegally entered vehicle involved in accident and discovered odor of alcohol and spilled beer; trooper then searched under passenger seat and found beer bottles; court agreed with Hearings Examiner in finding that "… the trooper had a legitimate reason to be in the vehicle for a limited purpose. Once in the vehicle, the odor of alcohol and the spilled liquid came within the plain view of the trooper. The search which revealed the bottles of fresh beer was justified not only for inventory purposes but also because of exigent circumstances regarding the possibility of the accident being alcohol-related". (NOTE: cross-reference to accident section)
French v. Turner, 94-E-93, (Merrimack, Mangones, 9/7/94) REVERSED ON OTHER GROUNDS
Fish and Game officer observed vehicle off the road in a secluded, rural area; first weekend of hunting season; officer, although having no general authority to enforce motor vehicle laws (RSA 206:26-b II(c)), stopped to check out the vehicle and render assistance, if needed; court held that officer was permitted to stop the vehicle since there was a good faith reasonable basis to do so, citing Terry v. Ohio, State v. Oxley and State v. Maynard. (NOTE: cross-reference to illegal detention section)
Clifton v. Turner, 93-E-272, (Merrimack, McGuire, 8/25/93) AFFIRMED
Trooper received information from police chief that plaintiff was under revocation; trooper observed plaintiff driving and pulled him over to check if he had a valid license; reasonable grounds for stop, citing State v. Oxley. (NOTE: cross-reference to section involving back of ALS form)
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