may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Steven John Evans,
Filed September 1, 1998
Anoka County District Court
File No. K6-97-11086
Steven J. Lodge, Babcock, Locher, Neilson & Manella, 118 East Main Street, Anoka, MN 55303 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Shumaker, Judge, and Norton, Judge.*
Appellant Steven John Evans was arrested and charged with four counts of boating while under the influence of alcohol. On appeal, he claims the trial court erred in failing to suppress evidence obtained as a result of an investigatory stop of his boat. We affirm because the stop was supported by specific and articulable facts.
Appellant argues that the DNR Conservation Officer did not have sufficient cause to make an investigatory stop of his boat on Crooked Lake on August 31, 1997. He notes that there were no other boats in the immediate vicinity and no speed limits or other restrictions in effect on the lake that day. We find this argument unpersuasive.
Appellant does not dispute that the standard measuring the propriety of the stop of a boat is the same standard for the stop of a motor vehicle. In the case of a motor vehicle, an officer must be able to articulate a particularized and objective basis for suspecting criminal activity in order to justify a stop. United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 417-18, 101 S. Ct. 690, 695 (1981); Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 1880 (1968); see Berge v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 374 N.W.2d 730, 732 (Minn. 1985). An officer's suspicion may be based on the totality of the circumstances. Berge, 374 N.W.2d at 732. This suspicion must be more than a mere whim or hunch. State v. Johnson, 444 N.W.2d 824, 825-26 (Minn. 1989). However, the threshold justifying an investigatory stop of a motor vehicle is very low. State v. George, 557 N.W.2d 575, 578 (Minn. 1997); State v. Claussen, 353 N.W.2d 688, 690 (Minn. App. 1984).
The uncontroverted record provides sufficient specific and articulable facts supporting the investigatory stop in this case. The officer observed appellant's boat travelling at a high rate of speed on a narrow portion of the lake where there were other boaters. In addition, there was a passenger in the boat; neither appellant nor the passenger was wearing a life jacket; and the boat made a sharp turn and planed in such a manner that appellant was momentarily out of the officer's sight. These facts, taken together, warrant the inference that appellant's actions posed a danger to himself or others on the lake and provide sufficient justification for the stop. The trial court properly denied appellant's motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of the stop.
*Retired judge of the Minnnesota Court of Appeals, serving by apointment pursuant to Minn. Const. Art. VI, § 10.