from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Jeffrey
L. Harris, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals the district court denial of his motion to
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Nan N. Jennisch,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., Vogel, J., and Blane, S.J.
John Barker III appeals the district court's denial of
his motion to suppress and subsequent conviction for
operating while intoxicated (OWI), second offense. Upon our
review, we find the district court properly denied the motion
and therefore affirm his conviction.
Factual and procedural background.
a.m. on October 4, 2015, Officer Chris Roberts was patrolling
a residential neighborhood in Waterloo. As he drove north on
Ninth Street, Roberts met a southbound car traveling at a
high rate of speed, which he estimated to be fifty to sixty
miles per hour. The speed limit was thirty miles per hour. He
testified that based on his training and experience, it was
"pretty obvious" the vehicle was "traveling a
lot faster" than the speed limit.
Roberts has been a peace officer since graduating from the
Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in 2007. He received training on
speed detection using radar and LiDAR (light and radar). That
training included learning how to estimate speed "just
with the naked eye, " and Roberts had to pass a test by
accurately estimating the speed of moving vehicles.
time Roberts had turned around, the speeding car had turned
onto a side street. When he caught up, the car was stopped in
the middle of the street such that it would have blocked
oncoming traffic. The car stayed there for fifteen to thirty
seconds, two men got out, and the car "took off."
Roberts stopped to speak with the two passengers, and he
broadcast his location over his patrol car's radio to
other officers, requesting assistance in stopping a blue,
four-door Chrysler 200 with New Jersey license plates.
Nathan Watson was in the area and heard over the police radio
the suspect car's description. He observed the vehicle
and initiated a traffic stop when the car stopped for a stop
sign. Upon approaching the car, Watson determined defendant
John Barker III was driving and observed Barker smelled of
alcohol and had bloodshot, watery eyes. Officer Nicholas
Weber arrived to assist with the traffic stop. He too noticed
Barker smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot, watery eyes.
Barker scored six of six clues on the horizontal gaze
nystagmus test, but he did not perform the walk-and-turn or
one-leg-stand tests due to physical limitations. He provided
a breath sample for a preliminary breath test, which
indicated an alcohol concentration over the legal limit. At
the police station, a DataMaster breath test indicated
Barker's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .104.
November 2, 2015, Barker was charged by trial information
with OWI, second offense, in violation of Iowa Code section
321J.2 (2015). The charge was enhanced based on Barker's
prior OWI conviction entered on July 31, 2012, in Black Hawk
County. On December 16, 2015, Barker filed a motion to
suppress, claiming the officer's stop violated his rights
under the United States and Iowa Constitutions. Following a
January 20, 2016 suppression hearing, the district court
denied the motion to suppress.
February 26, 2016, Barker waived his right to a jury trial,
and the case proceeded to a bench trial based upon the
minutes of evidence. The court found Barker guilty of OWI,