OF JUDGMENT: 03/21/2018
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN,
COURT ATTORNEYS: CYNTHIA ANN STEWART SAMUEL LEE WILKINS DAN
W. DUGGAN, JR.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
BY: GEORGE T. HOLMES PHILLIP BROADHEAD
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: MICHAEL GUEST
KITCHENS, P.J., BEAM AND ISHEE, JJ.
KITCHENS, PRESIDING JUSTICE
Loren Ross was convicted of felony driving under the
influence (DUI), fourth offense. The Circuit Court of Rankin
County imposed the maximum sentence of ten years in the
custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC).
Ross appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by not
polling the jury to assure that the jurors had been unanimous
in specifying the particular subsection of the DUI statute
Ross had violated. He argues also that the trial court erred
by sentencing him to the maximum statutory penalty instead of
ordering rehabilitative treatment for his alcoholism. Finding
no error, we affirm Ross's conviction and sentence.
At 12:10 a.m. on April 17, 2017, Brandon Holifield, a
patrolman with the Richland Police Department, was traveling
south on Highway 49 in the City of Richland in Rankin County.
Upon approaching the Bud Street intersection, Officer
Holifield observed a parked car positioned halfway in the
road and halfway in a parking lot. He approached the
driver's side door and discovered Loren Ross passed out
inside the car with the engine running and the transmission
in the "park" position. He opened the door,
awakened Ross, and asked to see his driver's license.
After viewing Ross's license, Officer Holifield had him
step out of the car. Ross denied having diabetes or any other
medical issues. When Officer Holifield asked whether Ross
knew where he was, Ross answered, erroneously, that he was in
Madison County. He said he had dropped a friend off at work
and was on the way home. During the conversation, Officer
Holifield detected the odor of intoxicating beverages
emanating from Ross's breath and noticed that Ross had
difficulty balancing himself. Ross was cooperative but
appeared disoriented and confused, with red, bloodshot,
glassy eyes. Based on his observations of Ross, Officer
Holifield arrested him for DUI.
At the police station, Officer Holifield placed Ross in a
holding cell. Ross began banging on the holding cell door
and, when no one responded, he urinated in the holding cell.
A few minutes later, Officer Holifield removed Ross from the
holding cell and obtained Ross's rights waiver and his
consent to administer the Intoxilyzer 8000 test. The test,
administered at 1:24 a.m., revealed that Ross's blood
alcohol content was .17 percent, based on a chemical analysis
of his breath as measured by the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine.
Wendy Hathcock, a forensic toxicologist with the Mississippi
Forensics Laboratory, testified that she is responsible for
maintaining the Intoxilyzer 8000 machines used throughout the
state. She testified that the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine used
to test Ross's blood alcohol content had been calibrated
on April 1, 2017, on May 1, 2017, and also moments before and
after the test itself. She testified that, in her opinion,
the results of Ross's blood alcohol test were reliable
and accurate. The defense and State stipulated that Ross had
three prior DUI convictions. The jury convicted Ross of
felony DUI, fourth offense.