Legal Topics

Criminal law — Driving under influence — Search and seizure — Citizen’s arrest

Oct 06th, 2017 in News by admin

Where out-of-jurisdiction officer who observed injured defendant with damaged motorcycle blocking traffic at intersection detained defendant at scene pending clearance by medical personnel and arrival of trooper without intending to make citizen’s arrest, improper citizen’s detention occurred — Even if officer made unwitting citizen’s arrest, odor of alcohol and other signs of possible impairment evident at time defendant had been cleared by medical personnel were not sufficient to establish probable cause for citizen’s arrest for DUI and further detention — Trooper did not have probable cause to arrest defendant for DUI where trooper did not witness defendant in actual physical control of vehicle, and trooper’s conclusory testimony about DUI investigation and defendant’s performance on field sobriety exercises did not establish probable cause to believe defendant was impaired — Officer’s observations of defendant in control of motorcycle cannot be imputed to trooper under fellow officer rule since out-of-jurisdiction officer was equivalent to private citizen — Defendant’s admission to driving during accident investigation is protected by accident report privilege and cannot be relied upon to form probable cause — Although trooper could rely on observations of out-of-jurisdiction officer to place defendant in control of motorcycle under arrest authority of officer at scene of traffic accident, neither trooper nor officer testified that trooper was given specific information that defendant was driver or in actual physical control of motorcycle — Motion to suppress is granted