Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Sharpfish

Supreme Court of South Dakota

August 15, 2018

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
IRWIN SHARPFISH, Defendant and Appellee.

          CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON MARCH 19, 2018

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT PENNINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE ROBERT GUSINSKY Judge

          MARTY J. JACKLEY Attorney General QUINCY R. KJERSTAD Assistant Attorney General Pierre, South Dakota MARK VARGO JOSHUA SATTERLEE Pennington County State's Attorney Attorneys for plaintiff and Rapid City, South Dakota appellant.

          ELIZABETH REGALADO Office of the Public Defender for Pennington County Attorneys for defendant and Rapid City, South Dakota appellee.

          KERN, Justice

         [¶1.] Defendant was arrested and charged in magistrate court for driving under the influence of alcohol. Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence obtained from the stop, arguing law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion. The magistrate court denied defendant's motion, and defendant was convicted and sentenced after a bench trial. Defendant appealed to the circuit court, which reversed the magistrate court's suppression order. The State filed an intermediate appeal, which we dismiss.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2.] On August 8, 2015, Officer Garrett Loen, while on patrol in Rapid City, South Dakota, received a dispatch at 1:45 a.m. regarding a report of an intoxicated driver getting into a blue minivan. Officer Loen, who was in the immediate vicinity, responded to the report and observed a vehicle matching the description given driving through a strip mall parking lot. The minivan stopped at the Corner Pantry gas-station pump. Officer Loen pulled up behind the van and activated his amber warning lights.

         [¶3.] Officer Loen exited his vehicle and approached the driver, Irwin Sharpfish, who had gotten out and appeared to be searching for something in the front seat of the minivan. Officer Loen asked Sharpfish how he was doing and Sharpfish replied, "I'm doing good." After pausing briefly, Officer Loen approached Sharpfish and observed that his eyes appeared bloodshot, he had an odor of alcohol on his breath and person, he slurred his speech, and he swayed as he stood. Officer Loen positioned himself between Sharpfish and the pump, standing about a foot away from Sharpfish. Sharpfish stated that he was just trying to fuel his car. Officer Loen explained that he had received a report about an intoxicated driver, to which Sharpfish responded, "Oh really." Officer Loen asked Sharpfish whether he had any identification with him, and Sharpfish produced a Nevada driver's license.

         [¶4.] After examining the license, Officer Loen asked Sharpfish whether he had been drinking that night. Sharpfish repeatedly denied that he had, and Officer Loen began asking Sharpfish whether he would agree to undergo field sobriety tests. Sharpfish eventually agreed to perform a horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Based on his observations of signs of intoxication, Officer Loen placed Sharpfish under arrest for driving under the influence. A subsequent blood draw taken pursuant to a warrant revealed that Sharpfish had a blood-alcohol content of 0.222.

         [¶5.] On August 20, 2015, the State charged Sharpfish with driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of SDCL 32-23-1(2), and, in the alternative, driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater in violation of SDCL 32-23-1(1). On August 25, 2015, the State filed a part II information alleging a previous conviction of driving under the influence.

         [¶6.] On April 5, 2016, Sharpfish filed a motion to suppress any evidence gathered during his encounter with Officer Loen. In his motion, Sharpfish argued that Officer Loen lacked reasonable suspicion to justify an investigatory stop. Sharpfish contended that the encounter amounted to an unreasonable search and seizure and thus violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

          [¶7.] On April 19, 2016, the magistrate court held an evidentiary hearing. Officer Loen testified, and the court received as an exhibit a DVD containing the dashcam recording of the encounter. On July 25, 2016, the court denied the motion to suppress, concluding that before the encounter evolved into a seizure, Office Loen made observations justifying a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

[ΒΆ8.] On September 27, 2016, the magistrate court held a bench trial and found Sharpfish guilty of driving under the influence in violation of SDCL 32-23-3. On December 20, 2016, the court sentenced Sharpfish to 180 days in jail and revoked his license for one year. The court suspended the sentence and held the revocation in abeyance until Sharpfish completed his appeal to the circuit court. On January 3, 2017, the magistrate court entered a judgment of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.