from the Iowa District Court for Jackson County, Joel W.
Barrows (suppression ruling), Mark R. Lawson (trial on the
minutes), and Paul L. Macek (sentencing), Judges.
defendant challenges the traffic stop leading to his
operating-while-intoxicated conviction. REVERSED AND
J. Reicks of Schoenthaler, Bartlett, Kahler & Reicks,
Maquoketa, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Jean C. Pettinger and Tyler
J. Buller, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
squealed. The sound came from the intersection of Platt and
Niagra Streets in downtown Maquoketa, which was also the
location of the police station. Officer Kody Sieverding heard
the tires squeal from inside the station, rushed to the back
door, and saw a Chevy Monte Carlo heading west on Platt
Street. The officer took off in his squad car and stopped the
Chevy in the Kwik Star parking lot, a few blocks from the
station. During his investigation, Officer Sieverding
detected the driver, Robert Howard, was intoxicated. On
appeal, Howard contests the basis for the traffic stop that
resulted in his arrest and conviction for operating while
motion to suppress, Howard asked the district court to
exclude evidence of his intoxication discovered during the
stop, alleging the officer lacked either probable cause or
reasonable suspicion to pull him over. Howard's motion
cited both the Fourth Amendment of the United States
Constitution and article I, section 8 of the Iowa
suppression hearing, the State offered testimony from Officer
Sieverding, who believed it was Howard who squealed his
tires because Howard's car was the only one
traveling west on Platt Street immediately after the officer
heard the noise. The officer also testified Howard's car
"appeared to be going over the posted speed limit"
of thirty-five miles per hour. After the officer's
testimony, the court viewed a video and audio recording of
the traffic stop. The defense then called Howard and
Howard's passenger to the stand. They both testified the
driver of the car in front of them at the intersection, not
Howard, was responsible for the squealing tires.
ruling from the bench, the district court found all three
witnesses credible. The court then reasoned:
But the Court doesn't need to make a credibility
determination here to decide this case. Probable cause is a
close call here and the officer arguably did not have
probable cause to stop this vehicle, but I don't think
that the Court necessarily needs to get there. The real
question for the Court is whether or not there was reasonable
suspicion to stop this vehicle.
court discussed the case law governing reasonable suspicion
for investigatory stops and concluded "based on the
stated observations of Officer Sieverding, the fact that they
were close in time and place to the investigatory stop based
on his own observations that he did, in fact, have
reasonable· suspicion to stop this vehicle."
losing his motion to suppress, Howard stipulated to the
minutes of evidence, including expected testimony that
Howard's blood alcohol concentration was .113. The court
found Howard guilty of operating while intoxicated, first
offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2. He
received a thirty-day jail sentence with all but two days
suspended. His appeal focuses solely on the suppression
review is de novo, which means we independently evaluate the
entire record under the totality of circumstances. State
v. Tyler, 830 N.W.2d 288, 291 (Iowa 2013). Because the
district court had the chance to assess the credibility of
the witnesses ...