State v. Heilman
Case # A154018
Full Text of Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A154018.pdf
Defendant Heilman was convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), ORS 813.010. The charges arose when a Police Officer saw Heilman’s car stopped at an intersection where there was no stop sign or stop light. The intersection did contain a pedestrian crosswalk, but it was empty. After waiting behind Heilman’s car for about 30 seconds, the Officer turned on his patrol car’s spotlight and directed it at Hielman’s car. Heilman’s car then moved forward and made a turn. The Police Officer followed, turned on his overhead lights, and stopped Heilman. Based on observations that he made after pulling Heilman over, the Officer conducted a DUII investigation and subsequently arrested Heilman for DUII. Heilman now appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of the stop because the Officer lacked probable cause to stop him for a crime. He contends that the stop violated Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution.
The Court of Appeals agrees with Heilman. The Officer testified that he stopped Heilman because he was stopped in an intersection. ORS 811.550(5) prohibits stopping within an intersection. However, the Court of Appeals observes that the facts do not support a finding that Heilman was stopped in an intersection. In its analysis, the Court of Appeals notes inconsistencies in the Officer’s trial testimony. The Officer testified that he saw Heilman stopped in the intersection. But when asked to draw on a map to the spot he saw Heilman, the Officer drew Heilman’s car outside of the intersection. The Court of Appeals places more emphasis on the Officer’s map drawing because the map “literally illustrated what he meant” when he said Heilman’s car was “in” the intersection.
Because Heilman was not stopped in an intersection, he did not violate ORS 811.550 and, accordingly, the Officer lacked probable cause to stop him. Since the unlawful stop violated Heilman’s Article I, section 9 rights, all evidence arising from the unlawful stop is suppressed, and the case is reversed and remanded.