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Krueger v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 17, 2014

WILSON KRUEGER, III A/K/A WILSON M. KRUEGER A/K/A WILSON MATT KRUEGER A/K/A WILSON MATTHEW KRUEGER, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: SCOTT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/06/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. VERNON R. COTTEN. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, FIRST OFFENSE, AND SENTENCED TO FORTY-EIGHT HOURS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE SHERIFF OF SCOTT COUNTY, WITH FORTY-EIGHT HOURS SUSPENDED UPON COMPLETION OF MISSISSIPPI ALCOHOL SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM, AND ORDERED TO PAY A $635.50 FINE.

FOR APPELLANT: JARED KEITH TOMLINSON, KEVIN DALE CAMP.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: SCOTT STUART.

BEFORE LEE, C.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ. IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - MISDEMEANOR

LEE, C.J.

¶1. Wilson Krueger III was found guilty in the Scott County Circuit Court of driving under the influence, first offense. Krueger appeals, arguing that the circuit court erred in failing to sustain his motion for a directed verdict, as well as rendering a verdict not supported by the evidence. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. On May 26, 2012, Officer Ron Phillips, along with other officers, set up a safety checkpoint in Coal Bluff Park in Scott County, Mississippi, to check for

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driver's licenses, seat belts, and drunk driving. Krueger and his wife drove through the checkpoint around 9:20 p.m. after being on the lake at the park since 2:00 p.m. When Officer Phillips approached Krueger's car to ask for his driver's license, Krueger's speech was slurred, and Officer Phillips asked Krueger to exit the car. Officer Phillips then smelled alcohol on Krueger's breath. When Officer Phillips asked Krueger how much he had to drink, Krueger responded: " Four or five beers, with the last one being about thirty minutes ago." Officer Phillips also asked Krueger how intoxicated he was on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most intoxicated. Krueger answered that he was at about five.

¶3. Officer Phillips decided to give Krueger a mixture of common knowledge and standardized field sobriety tests, including: reciting the alphabet from " G" to " N," a thumb-to-finger count, the one-leg-stand test, the walk-and-turn test, and finally the portable breath test. Krueger started the alphabet recitation with " E" instead of beginning with " G" as instructed. Krueger completed the thumb-to-finger task correctly. Krueger failed the one-leg-stand test, even though he claimed the exercise hurt his back, and he could therefore not perform this task. Krueger also failed the walk-and-turn test. Officer Phillips then offered Krueger the portable breath test, which was positive. Officer Phillips then asked Krueger to take the intoxilyzer breath test, which Krueger refused after reading the warnings and consequences for taking or refusing the intoxilyzer test. Officer Phillips cited Krueger with DUI refusal and common law DUI under Mississippi Code Annotated section 63-11-30(1)(a) (Rev. 2013).

¶4. Krueger was found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), first offense, in the Justice Court of Scott County.[1] Krueger timely filed his notice of appeal, and the matter went to trial before the Circuit Court of Scott County, where he was also found guilty and sentenced to pay a $635.50 fine. The court also sentenced Krueger to forty-eight hours of jail time; however, the court suspended the jail time conditioned upon Krueger completing the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program.

¶5. Krueger now appeals to this Court, asserting the State failed to present sufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the requisite elements of the crime charged. Krueger contends that in light of such error, the circuit court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict, as well as in ...


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