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State v. Husk

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 8, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
BRANDY CHARLINE HUSK, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and Submitted January 31, 2017

         Lane County Circuit Court 201501342; Jay A. McAlpin, Judge.

          Erik Blumenthal, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Jacob Brown, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before DeHoog, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Chief Judge, and Aoyagi, Judge. [*]

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for driving under the influence of intoxicants, driving while suspended or revoked, and reckless driving, asserting that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress evidence. Defendant was driving down the road when the lane in which she was traveling split into two lanes. Defendant "straddled" the new lane line before moving fully into the left lane. A police officer stopped defendant for violating ORS 811.370, which requires a driver to operate a vehicle "as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane." Defendant argues that the evidence obtained as a result of that stop should have been suppressed because the officer lacked probable cause to stop her for a traffc violation.

         Held:

         Under the particular circumstances of this case, the officer had probable cause to stop defendant for violating ORS 811.370. Accordingly, the trial court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress.

         Affirmed.

         [288 Or.App. 738] AOYAGI, J.

         This appeal arises from the denial of a motion to suppress. Defendant was driving down the road when the lane in which she was traveling split into two lanes. Defendant briefly "straddled" the new lane line before moving fully into the left lane. A police officer stopped defendant for violating ORS 811.370(1)(a), which requires a driver to operate a vehicle "as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane." The traffic stop led to the discovery of evidence that defendant was driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). Defendant moved to suppress that evidence, arguing that the officer lacked probable cause to stop her for a traffic violation. The trial court denied the motion. Defendant was ultimately convicted of DUII, driving while suspended or revoked, and reckless driving. Defendant appeals the judgment of conviction, assigning error to the court's denial of her motion to suppress. We conclude that, on the facts of this case, the officer had probable cause to stop defendant for violating ORS 811.370. The stop therefore was lawful and the motion correctly denied. Accordingly, we affirm.

         We are bound by the trial court's findings of fact so long as those facts are supported by the record. State v. Ehly, 317 Or. 66, 75, 854 P.2d 421 (1993). When the record is silent as to how the court resolved a pertinent factual dispute, we presume that it found the facts consistently with its ultimate conclusion. Id. We state the facts in accordance with our standard of review.

         Late at night, Cooper, an officer with the City of Eugene Police Department, encountered defendant driving her vehicle. Cooper had previously received a citizen report informing him that a woman owning a vehicle of the same description frequently drove intoxicated in that area, so he followed the vehicle. As defendant was driving, the single lane in which she was traveling widened until, immediately past an intersection, it divided into two, marked lanes. Defendant ultimately chose the left lane but, as she drove to that side, the right tires of her vehicle crossed over the dividing line. More specifically, as she left the intersection and entered the divided segment of the roadway, her vehicle "straddled" the new lane line briefly before she pulled completely into ...


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