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State v. Boyd

Supreme Court of Maine

March 2, 2017

STATE OF MAINE
v.
ROBERT I. BOYD JR.

          Argued: December 15, 2016

          Joshua K. Saucier, Asst. Dist. Atty. (orally), York County District Attorneys Office, Springvale, for appellant State of Maine

          Amy McNally, Esq. (orally), Woodman Edmands Danylik Austin Smith & Jacques, P.A., Biddeford, for appellee Robert I. Boyd Jr.

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          SAUFLEY, C.J.

         [¶1] The State of Maine, with the approval of the Attorney General, see 15 M.R.S. § 2115-A(1), (5) (2015);[1] M.R. App. P. 21(b), appeals from an order of the court (York County, Driscoll, J.) granting Robert I. Boyd Jr.s motion to suppress evidence obtained by drawing his blood and testing it for alcohol without obtaining a search warrant. The State challenges the courts determination that the State failed to prove that Boyd consented to the blood draw, and argues that the search of Boyds blood did not violate the Fourth Amendment. We affirm the order of suppression.

         I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] The court found the following facts, all of which are supported by competent evidence in the record. See State v. Morrison, 2015 ME 153, ¶¶ 2, 5, 128 A.3d 1060. At about 10:00 a.m. on October 14, 2015, an officer of the Sanford Police Department stopped a vehicle operated by Boyd for continuing to have an expired inspection sticker one month after having been stopped for the expired sticker. In speaking with Boyd, the officer noticed the smell of alcohol on Boyds breath. The officer asked Boyd how much he had had to drink that day. Boyd said that he was hung over, but he denied having had any alcohol that day.

         [¶3] The officer conducted multiple field sobriety tests and, based on what he observed, determined that he had probable cause to arrest Boyd for operating under the influence. See 29-A M.R.S. § 2411(1-A) (2016). The officer arrested Boyd and transported him to the Sanford Police Department to administer a breath test for alcohol. See 29-A M.R.S. § 2411(4) (2016). The machine there malfunctioned, and the officer sought another location with an operational machine. The officer transported Boyd to the Wells Police Department where, during the fifteen-minute observation period before a breath test could be administered, Boyd coughed several times, which could bring alcohol into the mouth and invalidate the test results.

         [¶4] The officer then located a paramedic to draw a sample of Boyds blood. The officer did not obtain Boyds consent to the blood test. Nor did the officer read any warnings to Boyd about the consequences of refusing to submit to testing, see 29-A M.R.S. § 2521(3) (2016), seek or obtain a warrant for the blood test, or inform Boyd that he could request that a physician perform the blood draw, see 29-A M.R.S. §2521(2) (2016). Boyd did not expressly refuse or object to the blood testing, and the paramedic drew his blood.

         [¶5] On November 20, 2015, Boyd was charged by complaint with operating under the influence (Class D), 29-A M.R.S. § 2411(1-A)(A), (5) (2016), based in part on the allegation of a blood test measuring 0.15 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Boyd pleaded not guilty and moved to suppress all evidence obtained through the blood test. The court held a hearing on the motion on March 15, 2016.

         [¶6] In an order entered nine days later, the court ordered the suppression of the blood test result, finding that the officer did not obtain a warrant or seek Boyds consent, and that Boyds "amenability and acquiescence without objection to [the officer]s direction/command/request that he submit to a blood draw does not rise to the level of consent." The court concluded that there were no exigent circumstances generating an exception to the warrant requirement and that the blood sample was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

         [¶7] With the written approval of the Attorney General, the State appealed from the courts order. See 15 M.R.S. ...


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