from the District Court of Ward County, North Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Todd L. Cresap, Judge.
Christopher W. Nelson, Assistant State's Attorney, Minot,
ND, plaintiff and appellee.
T. Hendrickson, Minot, ND, defendant and appellant.
Dustin Hendrickson appeals from a criminal judgment entered
after he conditionally pled guilty to driving or in actual
physical control of a vehicle while under the influence.
Hendrickson argues the district court erred by denying his
motion to suppress because officers did not have reasonable
suspicion to conduct an investigative stop. We affirm.
Hendrickson was charged with actual physical control of a
vehicle while under the influence of alcohol while being
accompanied by a minor under N.D.C.C. § 39-08-01.4, a
class A misdemeanor. Hendrickson moved to suppress evidence
and to dismiss the charges against him. He argued officers
did not have reasonable suspicion to stop him based on
information from a 911 call. Hendrickson claimed the 911
caller was a Taco Johns employee and the employee alleged he
was in the restaurant's drive thru and appeared to be
"beyond drunk." He alleged the caller said he was
slurring his speech; his eyes were "on and off,"
"open and shut," and "rolling to the back of
his head;" and she said, "To us he looks drunk, but
I wouldn't know." He claimed the responding officers
did not observe any suspicious behavior or note any signs of
intoxication when they spoke to him. Hendrickson argued the
caller's information was not sufficient by itself to
establish reasonable suspicion that he was intoxicated
because the information was vague and did not contain any
objective indicia which would lead a reasonable person to
Neither Hendrickson nor the State requested an evidentiary
hearing. The district court denied Hendrickson's motion
based on the parties' briefs and the evidence submitted
in support of the briefs, including a recording of the 911
call and video of the stop. The court found there was
sufficient reasonable and articulable suspicion based on the
information from the 911 call to justify the investigative
The State entered into a plea agreement with Hendrickson, and
an amended complaint was entered, charging Hendrickson with
actual physical control of a motor vehicle, a class B
misdemeanor. Hendrickson conditionally pled guilty to the
amended charge, reserving the right to appeal the court's
order denying his motion to suppress. A criminal judgment was
Because Hendrickson conditionally pled guilty reserving the
right to appeal the district court's decision denying his
motion to suppress, his appeal is limited to those issues he
raised in the motion to suppress. See N.D.R.Crim.P.
11(a)(2) (stating a conditional guilty plea reserves the
right to have an appellate court review an adverse
determination of a specified pretrial motion); State v.
Trevino, 2011 ND 232, ¶¶ 6-7, 807 N.W.2d 211
(stating issues not reserved by a conditional guilty plea are
waived). Hendrickson argues the district court erred by
denying his motion to suppress because the officers did not
have reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigative stop.
The standard for reviewing a court's decision on a motion
to suppress is well established:
[W]e give deference to the district court's findings of
fact and we resolve conflicts in testimony in favor of
affirmance. We will not reverse a district court decision on
a motion to suppress . . . if there is sufficient competent
evidence capable of supporting the court's findings, and
if the decision is not contrary to the manifest weight of the
evidence. Questions of law are fully reviewable on appeal,
and whether a finding of fact meets a legal standard is a
question of law.
State v. Broom, 2018 ND 135, ¶ 6, 911 N.W.2d
895 (quoting State v. Kaul, 2017 ND 56, ¶ 5,
891 N.W.2d 352). Whether there was reasonable suspicion to
justify an investigative stop is a question of law, which is
fully reviewable on appeal. Sta ...