Submitted On Briefs: October 13, 2016
County Unified Criminal Docket docket number CR-2015-77
A. McNamara, Esq., Drake Law, LLC, Lebanon, for appellant
Adam D. Gerry
William B. Entwisle, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial
District VI, Belfast, for appellee State of Maine
ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.
Adam D. Gerry appeals from the judgment of the trial court
(Waldo County, Worth, J.) finding him guilty of
operating under the influence (Class D), 29-A M.R.S. §
2411(1-A)(A), (5) (2015), following a conditional guilty
plea, see M.R.U. Crim. P. 11(a)(2). On appeal, Gerry
contends that the motion court (R. Murray, J.) erred
in denying his motion to suppress because his detention by
law enforcement, which ultimately led to the charge of
operating under the influence, was not based on a reasonable,
articulable suspicion. We affirm the judgment.
In its order denying the motion to suppress, the court found
the following facts, which are supported by the record
reviewed in the light most favorable to the courts order.
See State v. Kierstead, 2015 ME 45, ¶ 2,
On April 18, 2015, an officer of the Belfast Police
Department was on patrol in Belfast. At approximately 1:00
a.m., the officer observed a vehicle turn off of Main Street
and into the parking lot of a drug store, which had been
closed for several hours. The vehicle came to a stop and its
lights were turned off. The officer thought it was unusual,
at that hour, for a vehicle to pull into that parking lot,
park, and have its lights turned off. Thinking that there may
be a burglary in progress, and wanting to investigate
further, the officer proceeded up the street a short
distance, turned around, and returned to the parking lot.
Upon returning to the parking lot, the officer drove around
the back side of the drug store looking for anything unusual.
When he did not observe anything unusual behind the store, he
continued around the building to where the vehicle he had
seen was parked. The officer could not see anyone inside the
vehicle, so he used his spotlight to illuminate the car, at
which time Gerry, who apparently had been reclined in his
seat, sat up so that he was visible.
[¶5] At that point, the officer approached Gerry and
asked him if he was "all right and what he was
doing." Once the officer communicated with Gerry, he
could smell alcohol coming from him. Due to the smell of
alcohol, the officers inquiry and investigation shifted to an
investigation of possible operation of a motor vehicle while
under the influence of intoxicants.
Gerry was charged with operating under the influence pursuant
to 29-AM.R.S. § 2411(1-A)(A). On July 15, 2015, Gerry
moved to suppress evidence obtained during the detention and
arrest, arguing that the police interaction with him
constituted an unlawful detention that was not supported by a
reasonable articulable suspicion.
A testimonial hearing on the motion was held on September 2,
2015. For purposes of the motion to suppress, the State
conceded that the ...