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Page v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 27, 2018

VANESSA LYNN PAGE A/K/A VANESSA L. PAGE A/K/A VANESSA PAGE APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/13/2016

         HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. CHRISTOPHER LOUIS SCHMIDT JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY: JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH.

          DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH.

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND FAIR, JJ.

          GRIFFIS, P.J.

         ¶1. After a bench trial, Vanessa Lynn Page was convicted of felony driving under the influence (DUI). Page appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On August 14, 2015, around 7:00 p.m., Page was arrested near her home in Cedar Lake trailer park in Biloxi, Mississippi, after a tipster identified by first and last name called 911 and reported Page. The tipster called 911 shortly after the tipster and Page left the same Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. The tipster expressed concern for Page's driving, and the tipster included specific details about Page's identity, vehicle, and destination. The tipster also told the dispatcher that someone had offered Page a ride home, but Page refused. The tipster described Page as a slightly belligerent and extremely intoxicated white woman who was approximately five-feet tall with her hair pulled back into a ponytail.

         ¶3. Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen received the call from dispatch. McKeithen was familiar with the trailer park where Page lived.

         ¶4. When McKeithen approached the area of the trailer park, he immediately noticed the described car at an intersection in front of him. As he made a turn onto South Cedar Lake, he saw Page's grey Nissan Versa turn left into the trailer park. He later testified that the driver matched the description originally provided in the tip. McKeithen followed Page for about an eighth of a mile before pulling her over. Traveling at ten miles an hour, McKeithen trailed Page for roughly forty-five seconds before he stopped her. McKeithen testified he did not observe any traffic offenses while he followed Page. He made the stop based on the confirmation of information he received from dispatch and also for the safety of the children in the area.

         ¶5. Page pulled over immediately. When McKeithen approached, he noticed that Page smelled like alcohol, her eyes were glassy, and her speech was slurred. Once she got out of the car, Page had trouble keeping her balance and she was unsteady on her feet. McKeithen ran her driver's license, which came back as suspended because of a prior DUI from earlier that year.

         ¶6. Shortly after McKeithen stopped Page, Officer Jason Cummings, a DUI officer, arrived on the scene and took over to administer field sobriety tests. Cummings noticed the same odor, appearance, and slurred speech that McKeithen observed. When Cummings attempted to administer the field sobriety tests, Page failed the first test. Citing a pre-existing injury, Page was physically unable to complete the remainder of the tests. Based on these observations, Cummings arrested Page for ...


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