County Criminal Court:CRIMINAL LAW Ė DUI Ė Sufficient reasonable suspicion of DUI where defendant drives up to police who were at his house, with blood-shot and watery eyes, an odor of alcohol on his breath and loudly demands to know why police are there. Reh v. State, No. CRC 04-40 APANO, (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. May 24, 2005).

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

 

 

ANTHONY REH

 

††††††††††† Appellant,

 

Appeal No. CRC 04-40 APANO

UCN522004AP000040XXXXCR

v.

 

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

††††††††††† Appellee.

________________________________/

 

Opinion filed __________________.

 

Appeal from a judgment and sentence

entered by the Pinellas County Court

County Judge Donald Horrox

 

Roger Futerman, Esq.

Attorney for appellant

 

Marc Plotnick, Esq.

Assistant State Attorney

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

††††††††††† THIS MATTER is before the Court on the defendant, Anthony Rehís, appeal from a judgment and sentence entered by the Pinellas County Court. The defendant pleaded no contest to DUI and possession of marijuana charges, specifically reserving his right to appeal the trial courtís denial of his motion to suppress. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the judgment and sentence.†††††††

The police received a call to go to a particular house to investigate a possible burglary/ suspicious person. They were at the house when the defendant drove up. It turned out that it was the defendantís house. When the defendant saw the police he loudly demanded to know what they were doing at his house. The police smelled a moderate odor of alcohol on the defendantís breath and noticed that his eyes were very red, bloodshot, and watery. The police then began a DUI investigation, and the defendant was ultimately charged with DUI and possession of marijuana. The defendantís motion to suppress was denied by the trial court. The defendant is appealing that denial, claiming that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. He claims that the police had insufficient grounds to suspect that he was DUI, and that the police had no justification to begin a DUI investigation.

††††††††††† A trial courtís determination of reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop or detention is subject to de novo review. Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690 (1996); DeLeon v. State, 700 So.2d 718 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997). ďAppellate review of a motion to suppress involves questions of both law and fact and an appellate court must make a de novo review of the trial courtís application of the law to the facts.Ē Rosenquist v. State, 769 So.2d 1051 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).

††††††††††† The defendant points out that the police did not witness any improper driving; did not see the defendant sway or stumble while walking; and did not hear him slur his speech. The defendant concludes that absent these indicia of impairment, the police lacked a reasonable suspicion that the defendant was DUI. This Court disagrees.

Although all of the classic signs of impairment were not present in this case, there still existed enough indicia of impairment to provide the police with a reasonable suspicion that the defendant was DUI. Contrary to the defendantís assertion, there was more evidence than just the mere odor of alcohol. There was testimony that in addition to a moderate odor of alcohol, the defendant had very red, bloodshot, and watery eyes. This coupled with the defendantís loud and demanding behavior provided the police with a reasonable suspicion of DUI. The trial courtís order denying the motion to suppress is well thought out and is correct. The motion to suppress was properly denied. Therefore, the judgment and sentence are affirmed.

††††††††††† IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the judgment and sentence are affirmed.

††††††††††† DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this _____ day of May, 2005.

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nancy Moate Ley

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Judge

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† __________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† R. Timothy Peters

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Judge

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† __________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† John A. Schaefer

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Judge

 

cc:†† State Attorney

 

†††††Roger Futerman, Esq.

 

†††††† Judge Horrox