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State v. Eckroth

Supreme Court of North Dakota

February 12, 2015

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Jesse Eckroth, Defendant and Appellant

Page 909

Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Bruce B. Haskell, Judge.

Justin J. Schwarz, Assistant State's Attorney, Bismarck, N.D., for plaintiff and appellee.

Danny L. Herbel, The Regency Business Center, Bismarck, N.D., for defendant and appellant.

Dale V. Sandstrom, Daniel J. Crothers, Lisa Fair McEvers, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J. Opinion of the Court by Sandstrom, Justice. I concur in the result. Carol Ronning Kapsner.

OPINION

Page 910

Sandstrom, Justice.

[¶1] Jesse Eckroth appeals from a district court judgment sentencing him on his third offense of driving under the influence (" DUI" ), a class A misdemeanor. Eckroth argues the district court order sentencing him for his third DUI conviction should be remanded with instructions to enter a judgment of acquittal because he was convicted using invalid prior convictions. He also argues the district court erred in denying him credit for time served in custody as a result of multiple violations of the 24/7 sobriety program. We affirm.

I

[¶2] In May 2013, Eckroth was arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor in Burleigh County. Because this was his third DUI offense in five years, Eckroth was placed on the 24/7 sobriety program[1] as part of his bond conditions. Eckroth violated the terms of the sobriety program on three separate occasions by testing positive for alcohol consumption. As a result, he served six days in custody while awaiting subsequent bond hearings. In July 2013, Eckroth had an alcohol concentration of .048 and was placed in custody for three days. In November, he had an alcohol concentration of .029 and was placed in custody for two days. In February 2014, he had an alcohol concentration of .035 and was placed in custody for one day. During oral argument, the State conceded it chose not to bring additional charges against Eckroth

Page 911

for violating the terms of the 24/7 sobriety program.

[¶3] In April 2014, a jury found Eckroth guilty of DUI. At sentencing, the State offered two exhibits reflecting Eckroth's previous DUI convictions--one from Olmsted County, Minnesota, and the other from Bismarck Municipal Court. The district court accepted the two exhibits as evidence of valid prior convictions and entered an order of judgment sentencing him for a third DUI offense. Eckroth was sentenced to one year of incarceration, with all but ninety days suspended, and two years of probation.

[¶4] On April 15, 2014, Eckroth moved this Court to stay his sentence and to release him pending appeal. We denied the motion. That same day, Eckroth also appealed to this Court, arguing he was convicted of third-offense DUI using unsound prior convictions and was not given credit for time served in custody. Eckroth has served ...


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