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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On the night of July 31, 2004, Kyle David Curtis was driving on a four-lane highway in Paris, Texas, at about 1 a.m., when two state troopers observed his vehicle weaving in and out of his lane over a short distance. The officers stopped Curtis, conducted field sobriety tests and then arrested him for driving while intoxicated. On June 14, 2005, the trial on the merits took place, and the jury found Curtis guilty. The punishment phase followed, on the same day, whereupon the state read the enhancement paragraph of the information and presented evidence of Curtis’ previous DWI conviction in September 1999. The jury then assessed Curtis’ punishment at 90 days in the county jail and a fine of $2,500. On direct appeal, Curtis raised four points of error, only the first of which was addressed by the 6th Court of Appeals: that the trial court erred in admitting, over Curtis’ timely motion to suppress evidence and trial objections, evidence gained when the officers “illegally stopped [Curtis'] vehicle without a warrant, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion.” The state argued that the stop was legal, because the officers observed Curtis commit a traffic offense and had reasonable suspicion to stop Curtis’ vehicle. The 6th Court disagreed with the state in both these arguments and reversed Curtis’ conviction, declining to address his other points of error, because the answer to his first point of error had been dispositive. The state petitioned the CCA for discretionary review. The state’s sole contention to the CCA was that the officers had reasonable suspicion to stop Curtis’ vehicle and that the 6th Court applied an improper standard in determining whether the officers’ suspicion was reasonable. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The CCA noted its previous holding in its 1997 decision Woods v. State, in which it stated that “the reasonableness of a temporary detention must be examined in terms of the totality of the circumstances and will be justified when the detaining officer has specific articulable facts, which taken together with rational inferences from those facts, lead him to conclude that the person detained actually is, has been, or soon will be engaged in criminal activity.” The CCA found that the 6th Court recognized the correct standard but “did not actually apply that standard in this case.” For example, the CCA stated, the phrase “totality of circumstances” did not even appear in that court’s discussion of whether Curtis’ stop was based on reasonable suspicion that he was intoxicated. In addition, the CCA found that the 6th Court failed to consider either the lateness of the hour or the field-training officer’s experience specifically in detecting intoxicated drivers. The 6th Court, the CCA stated, also failed to consider the “rational inferences” from the facts articulated by the officers. The officers testified that they observed Curtis’ car weaving in and out of his lane several times, over a short distance, late at night. A “rational inference” from these facts could be that the driver was intoxicated. When viewed in light of the training officer’s extensive experience in detecting intoxicated drivers, coupled with both officers’ training to use the driver’s weaving specifically as an indication of intoxicated driving, the CCA found that the trial court could have reasonably concluded that the articulated facts gave rise to enough suspicion to justify at least an investigation. Thus, the CCA held that the 6th Court erred in concluding that the trial court abused its discretion in overruling Curtis’ motion to suppress. Moreover, the CCA held that the 6th Court applied an incorrect standard to determine whether the officers had reasonable suspicion to stop Curtis’ vehicle. OPINION:Holcomb, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Keller, P.J., Meyers, Price, Womack, Johnson, Hervey and Cochran, JJ., joined. CONCURRENCE:Keasler, J. concurred without a written opinion.

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