This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. §480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






Matthew Paul Mangan,





Commissioner of Public Safety,




Filed February 20, 2001


Lansing, Judge


Goodhue County District Court

File No. C4995646


Samuel A. McCloud, Kelly Vince Griffits, Suite 1000 Circle K, Shakopee, MN 55379 (for appellant)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Lisa M. Dahlquist, Assistant Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Halbrooks,  Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            On appeal from an order sustaining the revocation of his driving privileges, Matthew Mangan argues the arresting officer lacked a reasonable, articulable basis to conduct an investigatory stop because Mangan’s failure to signal two right-hand turns, although a violation of traffic laws, did not endanger other people.  Because endangerment is not an element of the traffic offense of failing to signal a turn, we apply the well-settled rule that the violation of a traffic law justifies a limited stop and affirm.


            A Goodhue County deputy sheriff on routine patrol at about 4:30 a.m. on February 27, 2000, saw Mathew Mangan make two right-hand intersection turns without signaling.  Mangan made the first of these turns from an alley.  The deputy stopped Mangan and, after observing signs of intoxication, arrested him for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The Commissioner of Public Safety revoked Mangan’s driving privileges under the provisions of the implied-consent law.  The district court affirmed the revocation, reasoning that Mangan’s failure to signal violated traffic laws and thus provided the deputy with a reasonable and articulable basis for stopping Mangan. Mangan appeals the order sustaining the revocation of his driving privileges, contending that the investigatory stop was constitutionally invalid.


            When, as in this case, the facts are undisputed, we review the legality of a limited investigatory stop de novo.  State v. Britton, 604 N.W.2d 84, 87 (Minn. 2000). A limited investigatory stop is lawful if supported by a particularized and objective belief that the person stopped is engaged in criminal activity.  State v. George, 557 N.W.2d 575, 578 (Minn. 1997).  Although the factual basis required to justify an investigatory stop is “minimal,” the stop must be based on more than mere whim, caprice, or idle curiosity.  Marben v. Department of Pub. Safety, 294 N.W.2d 697, 699 (Minn. 1980); State v. Uber, 604 N.W.2d 799, 801 (Minn. App. 1999).

Ordinarily, a violation of a traffic law, however insignificant, justifies a limited stop.  See, e.g., State v. Pleas, 329 N.W.2d 329, 333 (Minn. 1983) (upholding a traffic stop based on officer’s observation that windshield was broken, front license plate was missing, and rear license plate was upside down); Marben, 294 N.W.2d at 699 (holding that informant’s claim of tailgating provided objectively reasonable basis for traffic stop); State v. Barber, 308 Minn. 204, 207, 241 N.W.2d 476, 477 (1976) (upholding stop based on officer’s observation that license plate was wired rather than bolted on); State v. Haataja, 611 N.W.2d 353, 355 (Minn. App. 2000) (holding that unnecessary and unusually slow driving resulting in traffic back-up supported stop), review denied (Minn. July 25, 2000); cf. Britton, 604 N.W.2d at 88 (holding that broken window alone did not provide objectively reasonable basis for traffic stop); George, 557 N.W.2d at 578 (holding that officer’s erroneous belief that headlight configuration on motorcycle was illegal did not provide legal basis for traffic stop).

            In this case, Mangan failed to signal two right-hand intersection turns.  Under Minnesota law, “[n]o person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection * * * until the movement can be made with reasonable safety after giving an appropriate signal.” Minn. Stat. §  169.19, subd. 4 (1998).  Drivers must give “[a] signal of intention to turn right or left * * * continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled * * * before turning.”  Id.  The turn-signal requirement applied not only to Mangan’s second turn at the intersection of two streets but also the first turn at the intersection of an alley and a street.  See, e.g., Pettit v. Lifson, 238 Minn. 349, 354, 57 N.W.2d 34, 38 (1953) (concluding traffic statute requiring that vehicles be driven on right half of roadway applied to alleys as well as streets and highways).

            We reject Mangan’s argument that because the deputy was approximately 300 feet behind Mangan at the first turn and approximately 150 feet behind him at the second turn, the deputy was not endangered by Mangan’s failure to signal and thus a signal was unnecessary.  Minnesota law does not require endangerment as an element of a failure-to-signal traffic violation.  Further, this court has previously held that a limited investigatory stop for a moving-traffic violation is constitutionally valid whether or not the violation endangered any person or property.  See State v. Bisonnette, 445 N.W.2d 843, 846 (Minn. App. 1989) (holding failure to signal a lane change under circumstances that did not endanger person or property violated traffic law and justified traffic stop).

Mangan does not dispute that he failed to signal his turns at both intersections.  These violations of a traffic law provide the requisite basis for the stop.  Accordingly, we affirm.