from the Superior Court in Pima County No. CR20153118001 The
Honorable Casey F. McGinley, Judge Pro Tempore
Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General Joseph T. Maziarz, Chief
Counsel, Phoenix By Mariette S. Ambri, Assistant Attorney
General, Tucson Counsel for Appellee.
Brault, Pima County Legal Defender By Robb P. Holmes,
Assistant Legal Defender, Tucson Counsel for Appellant.
Kelly  authored the opinion of the Court, in
which Presiding Judge Vásquez concurred and Chief
Judge Eckerstrom dissented.
Courtney Weakland appeals from her convictions for aggravated
driving under the influence (DUI) while impaired to the
slightest degree and aggravated driving with a blood alcohol
concentration of .08 or more. She contends the trial court
should have suppressed the results of blood-alcohol testing
because police officers obtained her blood sample without a
warrant and without valid consent. Although we agree the
sample was unlawfully obtained, we conclude the officers
acted in good faith, and exclusion of the evidence therefore
was not required.
and Procedural Background
"In reviewing the denial of a defendant's motion to
suppress, we consider only 'evidence presented at the
suppression hearing and view the facts in the light most
favorable to sustaining the trial court's
ruling.'" State v. Valenzuela, 239 Ariz.
299, ¶ 3 (2016) (Valenzuela II), quoting
State v. Hausner, 230 Ariz. 60, ¶ 23 (2012). In
February 2015, an Oro Valley police officer arrested Weakland
for DUI, handcuffed her, put her in the back seat of his
patrol car, and read her an "admin per se" form,
pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-1321, which provided that
Arizona law "require[d]" her to complete certain
tests to determine her blood-alcohol concentration. Weakland
submitted to blood testing.
Weakland was indicted on one count of aggravated DUI while
impaired to the slightest degree and one count of aggravated
DUI with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or more. Before
trial, she moved to suppress all of the evidence acquired
through the warrantless search and seizure of her blood,
arguing the requirement language in the admin per se
admonition coerced her consent. The court summarily denied
Following conviction on both counts, the trial court
sentenced Weakland to concurrent four-month prison terms
followed by concurrent five-year probationary terms. She
timely appealed, and we have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S.
§§ 13-4031 and 13-4033.
On appeal, Weakland argues the blood test results should have
been suppressed "because the police obtained her blood
sample without a warrant and without valid consent." And
she maintains the good-faith exception to the exclusionary
rule, recognized by our supreme court in Valenzuela
II, 239 Ariz. 371, ¶¶ 31-35, does not apply.
"We review the denial of a motion to suppress evidence
for abuse of discretion, considering the facts in the light
most favorable to sustaining the ruling." Id.
¶ 9. An error of law may constitute such an abuse.
Id. We review de novo the applicability of the
good-faith exception. State v. Havatone, 241 Ariz.
506, ¶ 11 (2017).
The state implicitly concedes that Weakland's consent for
the warrantless blood draw was involuntary, and therefore
invalid, pursuant to Valenzuela II, 239 Ariz. 299,
¶ 33. Indeed, the record shows the officer's
interaction with Weakland did not comply with the standards
set forth in that decision, which directs officers to inform
suspects of the provisions of the admin per se statute
"in a way that does not coerce consent by stating or
implying that officers have lawful authority, without a
warrant, to compel samples of blood, breath, or other bodily
substances." Id. ¶ 28. The state has not
asserted any other basis to find the search permissible under
the Fourth Amendment. Thus, the sole issue on appeal concerns
whether the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule
"The exclusionary rule, which allows suppression of
evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, is a
prudential doctrine invoked to deter future violations."
Id. ¶ 31. Because it functions solely for that
purpose, it is unwarranted if it "fails to yield
'appreciable deterrence.'" Davis v. United
States, 564 U.S. 229, 236-37 (2011), quoting United
States v. Janis, 428 U.S. 433, 454 (1976). Furthermore,
while "deterrent value is a 'necessary condition for
exclusion, ' . . . it is not 'a sufficient'
one." Id. at 237, quoting Hudson v.
Michigan, 547 U.S. 586, 596 (2006). "[T]he
deterrence benefits of suppression must [also] outweigh its
heavy costs." Id.
"Therefore, when law enforcement officers 'act with
an objectively reasonable good-faith belief that their
conduct is lawful, ' deterrence is unnecessary and the
exclusionary rule does not apply." Valenzuela
II, 239 Ariz. 299, ¶ 31, quoting Davis,
564 U.S. at 238. In such cases, the good-faith exception to
the exclusionary rule applies. Davis, 564 U.S. at
238-40. But the exception will not apply when "officers
exhibit deliberate, reckless, or grossly negligent disregard
for Fourth Amendment rights, " nor when circumstances
show "recurring or systemic negligence."
Havatone, 241 Ariz. 506, ¶ 21, quoting
Herring v. United States, 555 U.S. 135, 144 (2009). And
"[t]he State bears the burden of proving the good-faith
exception applies." Id. ¶ 19.
Weakland argues first that the state failed to raise the
good- faith exception in the trial court, and has therefore
waived any argument that it should apply. But "[w]e are
required to affirm a trial court's ruling if legally
correct for any reason and, in doing so, we may address the
state's arguments to uphold the court's ruling even
if those arguments otherwise could be deemed waived by the
state's failure to argue them below." State v.
Boteo-Flores, 230 Ariz. 551, ¶ 7 (App. 2012).
Weakland next contends the good-faith exception should not
apply because "the state continued to disregard Arizona
case law that established the admin per se warning misstates
the law." Citing Carrillo v. Houser, 224 Ariz.
463 (2010), she contends our courts had "established
that the admin per se warning misstated the law" and
that allowing the state to rely on the exception in view of
that uncertainty in the law would "incentivize rather
than deter unlawful police behavior."
In Valenzuela II, however, our supreme court
determined that the good-faith exception applied in
circumstances nearly identical to those before us here. The
court determined that, as in this case, a DUI suspect's
consent to a warrantless blood draw had been coerced by the
officer's reading of the admin per se admonition.
Valenzuela II, 239 Ariz. 299, ¶ 33. The court
expressly rejected the argument Weakland makes as to
Carrillo, explaining that case had held an arrestee
must "unequivocally manifest assent to the testing by
words or conduct" before an officer could proceed.
Valenzuela II, 239 Ariz. 299, ¶ 34, quoting
Carrillo, 224 Ariz. 463, ¶ 19. The court had not,
it stated, "suggested that the admonition . . . was
coercive." Id. Furthermore, the court expanded,
it had not "ever questioned or overruled" cases
concluding that Arizona's consent law required suspects
to submit to blood testing, as stated in the admonition.
Id. And, it pointed out that "our courts have
continued to approve the admonition." Id., citing
State v. Valenzuela, 237 Ariz. 307, ¶ 24 (App.
2015) (Valenzuela I), vacated, 239 Ariz. 299, ¶
36, and State v. Oliver, No. 2 CA-CR 2014-0359,
¶¶ 23-25 (Ariz. App. Aug. 18, 2015) (mem.
decision). Our supreme court having rejected this argument,
we are bound to do so as well. See State v. Stanley,
217 Ariz. 253, ¶ 28 (App. 2007).
In her reply brief, however, Weakland also asserts that our
supreme court's decision in State v. Butler, 232
Ariz. 84 (2013), which was issued between the arrest at issue
in Valenzuela II and Weakland's arrest, set
forth "unequivocally . . . that notwithstanding the
implied consent law, the validity of the consent must be
determined solely upon the Fourth Amendment" and
therefore "clarified" that the admonition was
coercive. We disagree.
In Butler, our supreme court addressed "whether
the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
requires that a juvenile arrestee's consent be voluntary
to allow a warrantless blood draw." Id. ¶
1. In that case, sixteen-year-old Tyler drove his car to
school after smoking marijuana. Id. ¶¶
2-3. The investigating officer read him the implied consent
admonition, and he agreed to a blood draw, which he later
challenged on the ground that his consent had been
involuntary and that he lacked legal capacity to consent.
Id. ¶¶ 4-5. The court acknowledged that,
pursuant to the Supreme Court decision in Missouri v.
McNeely, 569 U.S. 141 (2013), a compelled blood draw is
a search. Butler, 232 Ariz. 84, ¶ 10. But it
noted that voluntary consent can allow a warrantless search.
Id. ¶ 13. The court further noted that consent
pursuant to § 28-1321 "must be express, "
Butler, 232 Ariz. 84, ¶ 16, and that the
statute "does not always authorize warrantless testing
of arrestees, " as some may "refuse by declining to
expressly agree to take the test, " in which case the
statute requires a warrant, id. ¶ 17,
quoting Carrillo, 224 Ariz. 463, ¶ 10.
The court then concluded Tyler's consent had not been
voluntary based on the totality of the circumstances,
including his age, his demeanor, his having been placed in
handcuffs, the length of his detention, and the absence of
his parents. Id. ¶¶ 20-21. The court also
noted that a deputy had "read the implied consent
admonition to Tyler, once verbatim and once in what the
deputy termed 'plain English, ' concluding with the
statement, 'You are, therefore, required to submit to the
specified tests.'" Id. ¶ 20. The court
did not address whether the language of the admonition was
coercive, did not separately or clearly address its effect,
and did not expressly raise a question as to its validity.
Rather, it discussed the voluntariness of Tyler's consent