COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT: CRIMINAL LAW Ė Search and Seizure Ė Stop Ė

Where defendant was weaving within lane, applying brakes for no apparent reason and maintaining erratic speed, stop justified. Judgment and sentence affirmed. Anderson v. State, No. CRC 05-61 APANO, (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. May 11, 2006).

 

 

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES FOR REHEARING

AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

 

 

DEBORAH ANDERSON

 

††††††††††† Appellant,

 

v.                                                                                                                                           Appeal No. CRC 05-61 APANO

UCN522005AP000061XXXXCR

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

††††††††††† Appellee.

______________________________/

 

 

Opinion filed _____________________.

 

Appeal from a judgment and sentence

entered by the Pinellas County Court

County Judge John Carballo

 

Roger Futerman, Esq.

Attorney for appellant

 

Della Jensen, Esq.

Assistant State Attorney

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

††††††††††† (J. Morris)

 

††††††††††† THIS MATTER is before the Court on the defendantís appeal from a judgment and sentence entered by the Pinellas County Court. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the judgment and sentence.

††††††††††† The defendant entered a no contest plea to DUI charges, reserving her right to appeal the denial of her motion to suppress. She claims the trial court erred in not granting her motion to suppress.

††††††††††† At approximately 1:30 A.M., the police noticed the defendantís motor vehicle. The deputy testified that the defendant was weaving within her lane (touching the left-side lane marker once), applying her brakes a couple of times for no apparent reason, and maintaining an erratic speed (speeding up and then suddenly slowing down). The police followed her for a mile and a half. Although the defendant did not commit any traffic infraction, the deputy testified that, based upon the defendantís driving, he believed the defendant was ill, tired, or impaired. The deputy making the stop was experienced with DUI cases, having made a couple of hundred DUI stops as a deputy and as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper. Another deputy in the car also testified that she believed the defendant was impaired. For these reasons, the police stopped the defendantís vehicle. After the police stopped the defendant and made contact with her, they observed signs of impairment. The defendant was ultimately arrested for DUI.

††††††††††† The defendant claims the stop was improper because she was not driving improperly or unusually. In support of her claim, the defendant invited this Court to view the video made by the deputies while they were following the defendant. This Court has reviewed the video, and finds it inconclusive. The video is of poor quality, and the defendantís vehicle is too far ahead of the deputies for the video to record fully the defendantís driving. The video, however, does not contradict the deputiesí testimony.

In Kronz v. State, No. CRC 03-42 APANO (Fla. 6th Cir. App.Ct. Sept. 13, 2004), this Court upheld the trial courtís denial of the defendantís motion to suppress where the police followed the defendant for one and a half miles, and observed him driving at inconsistent speeds and weaving within his lane. In that case, the deputy making the stop had extensive experience with DUI cases, and testified that based upon his experience and training the driving pattern was consistent with someone who was impaired.

In the case at bar, the facts are strikingly similar. Therefore, the decision to deny the defendantís motion to suppress was proper.

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

††††††††††† DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this _____ day of April, 2006.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _____________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† David A. Demers

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

 

 

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ____________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Robert J. Morris, Jr.

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

 

 

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _____________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Irene H. Sullivan

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

 

cc:††††††† State Attorney

 

††††††††††† Roger Futerman, Esq.

 

††††††††††† Judge Carballo