Submitted on Briefs: November 16, 2016
FROM: District Court of the Ninth Judicial District, In and
For the County of Teton, Cause No. DC-15-007 Honorable Robert
G. Olson, Presiding Judge
Appellant Chad Wright, Chief Appellate Defender, Moses Okeyo,
Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana
Appellee Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Jonathan
M. Krauss, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana, Joe
Coble, Teton County Attorney, Choteau, Montana
McGrath Chief Justice
Jeffrey David Beaver appeals from the District Court's
Judgment & Sentence filed July 29, 2015, convicting him
of aggravated driving under the influence, second offense. We
We restate the issue on appeal as follows:
Whether the District Court erred in upholding the stop
and the ensuing warrantless inspection of Beaver's truck
by an officer of the Montana Department of
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On August 12, 2014, an officer of the Motor Carrier Services
Division, Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), stopped
Beaver's commercial freightliner vehicle in Teton County.
After making the stop the officer detected the odor of
alcohol and believed that Beaver was driving under the
influence. He used a portable breath test (PBT) device and it
showed that Beaver's breath alcohol concentration (BAC)
was over 0.08. He also found alcoholic beverage bottles and
cans in the vehicle.
The MDT officer called the Montana State Highway Patrol for
assistance. A highway patrolman arrived and conducted field
sobriety tests that indicated that Beaver could be impaired.
A second PBT administered by the patrolman showed a BAC over
0.160. Beaver refused a blood test, and the patrolman
obtained a search warrant for a blood sample. That sample
registered a BAC of 0.239. The State charged Beaver with
driving under the influence and several other misdemeanor
The Teton County Justice Court conducted a bench trial in
January 2015. At the conclusion of the trial the Justice of
the Peace found Beaver guilty of aggravated driving under the
influence with a BAC of 0.239 under § 61-8-465, MCA. The
Justice of the Peace imposed a fine and a sentence of a year
in the county jail with all but seven days suspended.
Beaver appealed to District Court and moved to suppress the
evidence gathered after the MDT officer stopped his vehicle.
The District Court denied the motion, citing a prior order of
the Teton County District Court in State v. Valline,
Cause No. DA-10-021. Beaver entered a guilty plea to the DUI
charge, reserving the right to appeal denial of the motion to
suppress. The District ...