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State v. Meyer

Supreme Court of South Dakota

July 22, 2015

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
ARIA M. MEYER, Defendant and Appellant

Considered on Briefs: March 23, 2015.

Page 562

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, BROOKINGS COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE GREGORY J. STOLTENBURG, Judge.

Affirmed.

MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, ELLIE J. BAILEY, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

DONALD M. MCCARTY of, Helsper, McCarty, Mahlke & Kleinjan, P.C., Brookings, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

KERN, Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and ZINTER, SEVERSON, and WILBUR, Justices, concur.

OPINION

Page 563

KERN, Justice

[¶1] South Dakota State University (SDSU) police stopped Defendant Aria Meyer and several others in a group on suspicion of underage consumption and for violating South Dakota's open container law. The State charged Meyer with underage consumption pursuant to SDCL 35-9-2 and driving under the influence (DUI) pursuant to SDCL 32-23-1(1). Meyer moved to suppress all evidence stemming from the stop. After an evidentiary hearing, the magistrate court denied the motion. Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, Meyer was found guilty of DUI but retained the right to appeal the court's denial of her motion to suppress. Meyer appealed to the circuit court, and it affirmed. Meyer now appeals to this Court. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

[¶2] Just after midnight on September 15, 2013, SDSU student patrol officers Jack Dunteman and Brennan Albrecht were on bicycle patrol on SDSU's campus. The student officers were wearing gray uniform shirts and black pants. Dunteman spotted a group of about eight individuals in a parking lot gathered around an open tailgate of a Ford Escape. The Escape's taillights were on. As Dunteman approached, he observed the group walk toward Young Hall, which primarily houses freshman and sophomore students. According to Dunteman, some of the individuals appeared to stumble and could not walk in a straight line, but he could not identify which particular students. Dunteman arrived at the Escape and smelled the odor of alcohol. Dunteman also peered in the rear driver's-side window and saw two open Coors Light cans, one sealed Coors Light can, an open container of Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ritas, and an open bottle of UV Blue Vodka. Dunteman did not witness any of the group members consume alcohol and did not know their ages. Dunteman reported his observations to dispatch and requested a sworn officer.

[¶3] Dunteman observed a patrol car driving nearby and, when it stopped, he spoke with SDSU Police Officer Jonathan Anderson. Dunteman told Officer Anderson that the group that had just crossed the street in front of his patrol car was the group Dunteman had been watching. By this time, the group members were standing outside of Young Hall approximately 20 feet from the east entrance closest to the parking lot. Officer Anderson, who was dressed in a black police uniform, proceeded to make contact with the group and observed that each individual appeared to have consumed alcohol.[1] Officer Brandon Schultz arrived on the scene shortly thereafter to assist Officer Anderson. Together, Officer Anderson and Officer Schultz reviewed each of the group member's driver's licenses and determined that everyone in the group was under 21 years old. Officer Anderson asked the student officers to run a license-plate check on the Escape. The vehicle was registered to Meyer. When asked to identify herself, Meyer raised her hand and stepped forward.

[¶4] Officer Anderson took Meyer to his patrol car and asked her questions. Meyer told Officer Anderson that she, along with the ...


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