()

Judge Andrew M. Engel

 

Read Full-Text Decision

Jace was charged with DWI, among other things. A hearing was conducted to determine if probable cause to arrest and search Jace existed. Officer Tosi received a radio run to respond to the scene of a car accident, discovering a dark SUV in a flower bed on the law of the adjacent property. Premises owner informed Tosi the SUV drove onto her property. Tosi encountered Jace walking back towards him, observing he had watery eyes and the odor of alcohol on his breath. Tosi enquired if Jace was driving the SUV, and if he was drinking, opining Jace was intoxicated. Subsequently Officer Aigotti performed field sobriety tests (FST), concluding Jace was intoxicated. The court found there was no testimony in the record establishing the time of Jace’s arrest, if Aigotti conducted FST before or after the arrest and if Tosi was advised of the resulted before or after the arrest. As such, it did not consider the results of the tests and Aigotti’s observations. Yet, it found Tosi’s observations of the accident scene, Jace’s physical condition and his admission to operating the vehicle involved in the accident, and consuming alcohol sufficient established probable case to arrest him for DWI. Thus, as statements at the scene before the arrest were the result of an accident investigation, suppression was denied.

Judge Andrew M. Engel

 

Read Full-Text Decision

Jace was charged with DWI, among other things. A hearing was conducted to determine if probable cause to arrest and search Jace existed. Officer Tosi received a radio run to respond to the scene of a car accident, discovering a dark SUV in a flower bed on the law of the adjacent property. Premises owner informed Tosi the SUV drove onto her property. Tosi encountered Jace walking back towards him, observing he had watery eyes and the odor of alcohol on his breath. Tosi enquired if Jace was driving the SUV, and if he was drinking, opining Jace was intoxicated. Subsequently Officer Aigotti performed field sobriety tests (FST), concluding Jace was intoxicated. The court found there was no testimony in the record establishing the time of Jace’s arrest, if Aigotti conducted FST before or after the arrest and if Tosi was advised of the resulted before or after the arrest. As such, it did not consider the results of the tests and Aigotti’s observations. Yet, it found Tosi’s observations of the accident scene, Jace’s physical condition and his admission to operating the vehicle involved in the accident, and consuming alcohol sufficient established probable case to arrest him for DWI. Thus, as statements at the scene before the arrest were the result of an accident investigation, suppression was denied.