This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
State of Minnesota,
Bradley Aaron Marquardt,
Filed February 25, 2003
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded
Wilkin County District Court
File No. T40238
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Suite 500, 525 Park Street, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Timothy E. J. Fox, Wilkin County Attorney, 420 Nebraska Avenue, P.O. Box 214, Breckenridge, MN 56520 (for appellant)
Mark D. Nyvold, 46 East Fourth Street, 1030 Minnesota Building, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Minge, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
The district court granted Bradley Marquardt’s motion to suppress statements and chemical-test results in a driving-while-impaired prosecution and dismissed the charge. The state appeals the suppression ruling and the dismissal. Because the police elicited statements in post-arrest questioning without a Miranda warning, we affirm that part of the order suppressing the inculpatory statements. But because the police had probable cause to arrest Marquardt, we reverse that part of the order suppressing the results of the chemical test and remand for reinstatement of the charge.
F A C T S
The Wilkin County Sheriff’s office received a call reporting an overturned vehicle at approximately 4:30 a.m. on December 30, 2001. The officer responding to the report saw a pickup overturned in a field a short distance from the road. He recognized the pickup as belonging to Bradley Marquardt. The pickup was unoccupied, but, according to the police report, the officer observed blood in the interior of the pickup and beer cans outside the pickup. After the officer looked around the field and found no one, he drove to Marquardt’s residence where he found Marquardt’s mother and brother standing by the garage, preparing to go retrieve Marquardt’s wallet from the overturned pickup.
After asking Marquardt’s mother if Marquardt was all right, the officer asked to speak with him. Marquardt’s mother gave the officer permission to enter the home and then went in to awaken her son. The officer remained briefly outside the house, talking with Marquardt’s brother. The brother told the officer that he had unsuccessfully tried to keep Marquardt from driving by taking his keys earlier in the evening.
The officer and Marquardt’s brother entered the house together after Marquardt’s mother opened the door. The officer told Marquardt to get dressed. While Marquardt was dressing, the officer observed signs of intoxication and asked Marquardt if he had been drinking and driving. Marquardt admitted that he had been drinking alcohol before the accident. After Marquardt finished dressing, the officer handcuffed him and transported him to the law enforcement center.
Marquardt moved to dismiss the ensuing charge of driving while impaired (DWI). Following an evidentiary hearing, the court determined that Marquardt’s statements were inadmissible and that the officer had lacked probable cause to arrest Marquardt. Based on this determination, the court suppressed the test results and dismissed the DWI charge. The state appeals the dismissal order.
D E C I S I O N
We will reverse a pretrial order suppressing evidence only if the state demonstrates clearly and unequivocally that the district court erred in its judgment, and, unless reversed, the error will have a critical impact on the outcome of the trial. State v. Joon Kyu Kim, 398 N.W.2d 544, 547 (Minn. 1987). Because the charge against Marquardt was dismissed as a result of suppression of evidence, the critical-impact element is not at issue. Thus, we need determine only whether the district court erred (1) in suppressing Marquardt’s inculpatory statements because they were made without a Miranda warning and (2) in concluding that the test results were improperly obtained because the officer did not have probable cause to arrest Marquardt for DWI.
When the facts underlying a pretrial suppression order are undisputed on appeal, we independently analyze those facts to determine, as a matter of law, whether the district court erred in suppressing the evidence. State v. Othoudt, 482 N.W.2d 218, 221 (Minn. 1992). The district court found that the officer had consent to enter the home, and that finding is not contested on appeal. The court credited the testimony of Marquardt’s mother that although she had not told the officer that Marquardt had been drinking, she had told him that Marquardt had arrived home a half-hour earlier, that he was asleep, and that she would have a hard time waking him. The court also found that the officer “immediately” asked Marquardt to get dressed upon entering Marquardt’s home, and that the officer had decided to arrest Marquardt before he told him to get dressed.
Based on these findings, the district court concluded that Marquardt was in custody when the officer asked Marquardt to get dressed. We follow the custody test adopted in Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 104 S. Ct. 3138 (1984). The test is whether a reasonable person under the circumstances would believe that he or she was in police custody to the degree associated with a formal arrest. State v. Champion, 533 N.W.2d 40, 43 (Minn. 1995). If so, police are required to give a warning of rights before interrogating the individual. State v. Wiernasz, 584 N.W.2d 1, 3 (Minn. 1998). “[T]he mere fact that questioning occurred in a suspect’s home does not by itself mean that the questioning was not custodial in nature.” Id.
Marquardt was awakened by his mother at 5:00 a.m. at the insistence of the officer. The court found that as soon as Marquardt got up the officer told him to get dressed. The officer testified that he made this request because he wanted Marquardt to accompany him to the field where the accident had occurred, and he wanted him dressed before he handcuffed him. On these facts, Marquardt could reasonably have concluded that he was free neither to disregard the deputy’s request nor to terminate the encounter and that he was in police custody to the degree associated with a formal arrest. Therefore, the district court did not err in suppressing Marquardt’s inculpatory statements.
The probable cause determination, however, was based on much more than Marquardt’s statements. An officer can lawfully arrest a person for DWI when the officer has probable cause to believe the person was driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. State v. Olson, 342 N.W.2d 638, 640 (Minn. App. 1984). Probable cause to believe a person was driving while impaired “exists when facts and circumstances are known to the officer that would warrant a prudent person in the officer’s position to conclude the person was violating the DWI statute.” Holm v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 416 N.W.2d 473, 475 (Minn. App. 1987) (citing State v. Harris, 295 Minn. 38, 42, 202 N.W.2d 878, 881 (1972)). Each case must be decided on its own facts and circumstances without consideration of any formula for reasonableness. Olson, 342 N.W.2d at 640. The inquiry is objective, not subjective. State v. Riley, 568 N.W.2d 518, 523 (Minn. 1997). Depending on the nature of the indicia, an officer may need only one objective indication of intoxication to constitute probable cause to believe a person is under the influence of alcohol. Holtz v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 340 N.W.2d 363, 365 (Minn. App. 1983).
The record contains significant facts and circumstances that were known to the officer, before entering the house, that would warrant the conclusion by a prudent person in the officer’s position that Marquardt had been driving while impaired by alcohol. The officer knew that Marquardt had been driving his pickup earlier and it ended up rolled over in a field. The circumstances indicated that no other vehicle was involved in the accident. According to the police report, parts of which were referred to at the evidentiary hearing, beer cans were found outside the pickup, and it appeared that Marquardt was the only person who had been in the pickup when the accident happened. Marquardt’s brother told the officer that he had unsuccessfully tried to take Marquardt’s keys from him earlier in the evening. Marquardt’s mother told the officer that she might have a difficult time waking Marquardt. And, finally, the officer testified that during the discussion by the garage he was told that Marquardt was intoxicated. Although the district court credited Marquardt’s mother’s testimony that she did not say that, she acknowledged that the officer had talked with Marquardt’s brother alone after she had gone into the house. Marquardt’s brother did not testify at the evidentiary hearing.
Based on the totality of the facts and circumstances known to the officer, we conclude that at the time the officer entered the house he had probable cause to believe that Marquardt was driving while impaired and to take him into custody for purposes of administering the implied consent advisory. See Heuton v. Comm’r Pub. Safety, 541 N.W.2d 361, 363 (Minn. App. 1995) (finding probable cause for officer to believe defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol when defendant was involved in a one-car accident, and a paramedic told officer he detected alcohol on defendant’s breath). Marquardt’s inculpatory statements were not necessary to establish probable cause for DWI, and the suppression of the statements does not invalidate the arrest or make the results of the ensuing test inadmissible.
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.