STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Thomas James Salonek,
Filed August 3, 1999
McLeod County District Court
File No. T0-98-359
Michael Junge, McLeod County Attorney, 830 11th St. E., Glencoe, MN 55336 (for respondent)
Richard Lee Swanson, 1059 Stoughton Ave., P.O. Box 85, Chaska, MN 55318 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Parker, Judge,[**] and Thoreen, Judge.
Thomas James Salonek appeals from his conviction of driving with an alcohol concentration in excess of .10 in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169.121, subd. 1(d) (1996). Salonek argues that the district court erred in determining that the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that Salonek was driving while impaired. Because the arresting officer had an adequate basis upon which to believe that Salonek's driving ability was impaired, we affirm.
After completing the driver's license check, the officer asked Salonek to exit the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. Salonek failed the one-legged stand test and the walk-and-turn test. The officer also administered a horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN), which indicated intoxication.
The officer tested a breath sample. Although Salonek did not fail the PBT, the test showed a presence of alcohol. The officer then placed Salonek under arrest for driving under the influence.
Probable cause exists if all the facts and circumstances would warrant a cautious person in believing that the suspect is guilty. State v. Olson, 342 N.W.2d 638, 640 (Minn. App. 1985). We examine the issue from the point of view of a prudent and cautious police officer on the scene. State v. Harris, 265 Minn. 260, 264, 121 N.W.2d 327, 330-31 (1963). Furthermore, "whether certain indicia of consumption of alcohol are sufficient to satisfy a standard of probable cause depends on the facts and circumstances in each case." Clow v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 362 N.W.2d 360, 363 (Minn. App. 1985), review denied (Minn. Apr. 26, 1985).
In this case, the officer observed at least six indicia of intoxication prior to arresting Salonek, including: (1) failure to drive properly between the fog line and centerline; (2) odor of alcohol; (3) slurred speech; and (4) failure to satisfactorily perform three field sobriety tests. The totality of the circumstances supports the officer's conclusion that Salonek was under the influence.
We therefore affirm Salonek's conviction.
[*] Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
[**] Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.