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Kummerfeldt v. State

Supreme Court of Montana

April 21, 2015

KURT LEE KUMMERFELDT, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MONTANA, Defendant and Appellee

Submitted on Briefs: March 11, 2015.

Released for Publication May 7, 2015.

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Seventeenth Judicial District, In and For the County of Valley, Cause No. DV 13-30. Honorable John C. McKeon, Presiding Judge.

For Appellant: Jason T. Holden; Dana A. Henkel, Faure Holden Attorneys at Law, P.C.; Great Falls, Montana.

For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General; Mardell L. Ployhar, Assistant Attorney General; Helena, Montana; Nickolas C. Murnion, Valley County Attorney; David Gorton, Deputy, Valley County Attorney; Glasgow, Montana.

JIM RICE. We concur: MIKE McGRATH, PATRICIA COTTER, BETH BAKER, JAMES JEREMIAH SHEA. Justice Jim Rice delivered the Opinion of the Court.

OPINION

Page 1234

[378 Mont. 523] Jim Rice, Justice.

[¶1] Kurt Lee Kummerfeldt (Kummerfeldt) appeals from the order of the Seventeen Judicial District Court, Valley County, denying his petition for reinstatement of his driver's license. We affirm.

[¶2] We address the following issue:

[¶3] Did the District Court err by denying Kummerfeldt's petition for reinstatement of his driver's license?

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

[¶4] On June 6, 2013, Valley County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Remmich was patrolling near the marina in Fort Peck. After hearing the loud squealing of car tires, Deputy Remmich observed a yellow Chevrolet Corvette drive out of the parking lot. Deputy Remmich noted the vehicle was " moving quite quickly" and " did not stop" at the stop sign. Deputy Remmich followed the vehicle for approximately one mile before observing the vehicle cross over the center line into the oncoming lane and then swerve onto the edge of the road. At that point, Deputy Remmich activated his emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop. Kummerfeldt was driving and the sole occupant in the car.

[¶5] During the investigatory stop, Deputy Remmich noticed that Kummerfeldt's eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Deputy Remmich requested that Kummerfeldt take a preliminary breath test (PBT) at the scene. Deputy Remmich read Kummerfeldt the preliminary alcohol screening test advisory, which stated that the officer had a right to request that Kummerfeldt take a PBT and Kummerfeldt's license would be suspended if he refused. Kummerfeldt did not immediately answer, but instead discussed for almost 20 minutes whether he should take the test. During this discussion, Deputy Remmich requested that Kummerfeldt take the PBT approximately 27 times. Kummerfeldt asked Deputy Remmich whether he could avoid losing his license if he provided a breath sample, to which Deputy Remmich replied: " If you provide a sample of breath, you will not lose your license. If you refuse to ...


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