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State v. Brewer

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 18, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DAVID PATRICK BREWER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Odell G. McGhee, District Associate Judge.

         A defendant appeals his conviction for operating while intoxicated.

          Daniel M. Northfield, Urbandale, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., Bower, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

          BOWER, Judge.

         David Patrick Brewer appeals his conviction for operating while intoxicated, first offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2 (2015). Brewer claims the district court abused its discretion in imposing its sentence and should have granted his motion to suppress. He also claims the evidence was insufficient to convict him of operating while intoxicated. We find the district court considered an unproven or uncharged offense during sentencing. We also find the district properly denied Brewer's motion to suppress and there was sufficient evidence to convict Brewer. We affirm Brewer's conviction, vacate Brewer's sentence, and remand for resentencing before a different judge.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         In December 2015, Brewer was driving west on interstate 80. Brewer's vehicle struck the concrete barrier in the median of the interstate. The vehicle then veered through three lanes of west-bound traffic, drove into the ditch dividing the highway and on-ramp, jumped over the on-ramp, continued to drive through the ditch area of the on-ramp, across the north-bound lanes of 14th Street, struck a car on the south-bound lanes of 14th Street, and pushed both vehicles into the ditch. The driver of the other vehicle suffered serious injuries.

         Brewer was transported to the hospital. An Iowa State Patrol trooper arrived and noted Brewer's eyes were bloodshot and watery, he had dilated pupils, and his heart rate was elevated. Brewer admitted to the trooper he had been drinking alcohol the previous night and had smoked marijuana approximately four days before the accident. Brewer answered many of the trooper's questions but was unable to recall the accident. While being questioned, Brewer had a seizure. The trooper requested a doctor sign a certification indicating Brewer was unable to consent or refuse to provide a sample of bodily fluids, which was granted. The trooper acquired a sample of urine, which tested positive for marijuana metabolites.

         Brewer was charged with operating while intoxicated. He filed a motion to suppress, claiming the urine test should be excluded from evidence as there were no reasonable grounds to believe he was operating while intoxicated. The motion was denied. Brewer agreed to a trial on the minutes of evidence. Brewer was found guilty on June 9, 2016. Brewer was sentenced to 365 days imprisonment, and would be eligible for an electronic monitoring program after serving ninety days. Brewer now appeals.

         II. Standard of Review

         If a sentence is within the statutory limits, we review a district court's sentencing decision for an abuse of discretion. State v. Seats, 865 N.W.2d 545, 552 (Iowa 2015). "Thus, our task on appeal is not to second-guess the decision made by the district court, but to determine if it was unreasonable or based on untenable grounds." Id. at 553. "In other words, the district court did not abuse its discretion if the evidence supports the sentence." Id.

         Brewer challenges only the sufficiency of the evidence to invoke implied consent and does not challenge the seizure's constitutional sufficiency. Therefore, we review the district court's ruling on the motion to suppress for the ...


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