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State v. Olson

Supreme Court of South Dakota

March 16, 2016

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
TERRON R. OLSON, Defendant and Appellant

         Considered on Briefs February 16, 2016

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

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

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

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

          OPINION

Page 594

          SEVERSON, Justice

          [¶1] Terron Olson appeals his convictions for driving under the influence and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Olson asserts that the law enforcement officer lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop. Therefore, he alleges that the magistrate court and circuit court erred by failing to suppress evidence from the traffic stop. We affirm.

         Background

          [¶2] At approximately 2:50 a.m. on November 1, 2014, Officer Burgard was traveling eastbound on 7th Street in Brookings, South Dakota. As he approached the intersection of 12th Avenue and 7th Street, he observed a vehicle traveling northbound on 12th Avenue. The vehicle came to a complete stop at the intersection for 15 to 30 seconds even though there was no stop sign or traffic signal which required the vehicle to stop. East- and west-bound traffic is subject to a stop sign at that intersection, so Burgard came to a complete stop upon reaching the intersection. After Burgard stopped his vehicle, the other vehicle turned west onto 7th Street, driving past Burgard's vehicle. Burgard activated his audio and visual recorder and initiated a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle identified himself as Terron Olson. Burgard determined that Olson had been consuming alcohol and placed him under arrest for driving under the influence.

          [¶3] On January 9, 2015, Olson filed a motion to suppress evidence from the traffic stop. He alleged that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop Olson's vehicle. An evidentiary hearing before a magistrate court was held on January 26, 2015. The court denied Olson's motion. A stipulated court trial was held on May 11, 2015. The court found Olson guilty of driving under the influence and of having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Olson appealed his convictions to the circuit court, which upheld the magistrate court's determination that the officer had reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop, thereby refusing suppression of the evidence. On appeal to this Court, Olson asserts that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop.

         Standard of Review

          [¶4] We review de novo a motion to suppress based on an alleged violation of a constitutionally protected right. State v. Rademaker, 2012 S.D. 28, ¶ 7, 813 N.W.2d 174, 176. We review the trial court's factual findings " under the clearly erroneous standard. Once the facts have been determined, however, the application of a legal standard to those facts is a question of law reviewed de novo. This Court will not be restricted by the ...


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