Appeal from the District Court of Ward County, North Central Judicial District, the Honorable Douglas L. Mattson, Judge.
Kelly A. Dillon, Assistant State's Attorney, for plaintiff and appellee.
Bryan D. Denham, for defendant and appellant.
Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Dale V. Sandstrom, Daniel J. Crothers, Lisa Fair McEvers, Carol Ronning Kapsner. Opinion of the Court by VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
[¶1] Guy Wade Packineau appealed from a criminal judgment after a jury found him guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a suspended license, and driving under the influence. We affirm.
[¶2] A Ward County Sheriff's deputy responded to a reported accident and found Packineau at the scene inside an overturned vehicle. The vehicle was registered to Packineau and the license plate matched an earlier report made to the Sheriff's office of a suspected impaired driver. While assisting Packineau, the deputy detected the smell of alcohol. Packineau failed to respond to verbal questions and no sobriety test was conducted. The deputy read the implied consent
advisory to him, and received a mumbled response. The deputy placed him under arrest, at which point Packineau became responsive and exited the vehicle. He was then restrained and airlifted to a local hospital.
[¶3] During transport to the hospital, Packineau was intubated. A Highway Patrol officer arrived at the hospital and again placed Packineau under arrest. The officer made no attempt to communicate with Packineau at the hospital. A blood draw was made without a warrant. The test revealed Packineau had a blood alcohol content exceeding the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle.
[¶4] At the scene of the accident, the deputy recovered personal items believed to have been ejected from the vehicle. While conducting an inventory of the property, the deputy observed a clear plastic bag fall out of a backpack. The bag contained an unidentified green substance and wooden smoking device. The backpack was searched and a glass pipe commonly used for methamphetamine was discovered.
[¶5] Packineau was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence, and driving with a suspended license. He moved to suppress the evidence from the blood test as well as the smoking device, arguing no probable cause existed for his arrest and he did not consent to the blood ...