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State v. Havatone

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

June 6, 2019


          Appeal from the Superior Court in Mohave County No. S8015CR201201535 The Honorable Derek C. Carlisle, Judge.

          Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Terry M. Crist Counsel for Appellee

          Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp, Kingman By Shawn B. Hamp, Virginia L. Crews, Troy M. Anderson Counsel for Appellant

          Judge James P. Beene delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Maria Elena Cruz and Judge Jennifer B. Campbell joined.


          BEENE, JUDGE.

         ¶1 Don Jacob Havatone appeals from his convictions and sentences for two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor ("DUI"), one count of aggravated assault, one count of endangerment, and four counts of misdemeanor assault. Because a Nevada statute at the time allowed a blood sample to be taken from an unconscious DUI suspect, the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied, and the superior court did not err by denying Havatone's motion to suppress. Accordingly, we affirm.


         ¶2 In September 2012, Havatone's SUV swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle near Kingman, Arizona. Havatone was taken to a hospital in Nevada for injuries sustained in the collision. A police officer in Nevada, without securing a warrant, obtained a sample of Havatone's blood drawn by the hospital's phlebotomist. A criminalist in Arizona tested Havatone's blood sample and it showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.21.

         ¶3 The State charged Havatone with two counts of aggravated DUI, five counts of aggravated assault, and one count of endangerment. Before trial, Havatone moved to suppress the results of the warrantless blood draw.

         ¶4 At the suppression hearing, Officer Perea with the Arizona Department of Public Safety ("DPS") testified that he responded to the collision. He stated that the passengers riding with Havatone, as well as the driver of the other vehicle, were injured in the collision. He found Havatone lying behind his SUV with a head wound. Officer Perea smelled alcohol coming from Havatone, found alcohol containers in his vehicle, and Havatone admitted he was driving.

         ¶5 Based on his injuries, Havatone was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Nevada. Officer Perea contacted DPS dispatch and asked them to contact Nevada Highway Patrol ("NHP") to collect a blood sample. DPS dispatch contacted NHP, informed them that Havatone caused a collision in Arizona, the officer on scene suspected him of DUI, and requested Nevada law enforcement assist in the collection of a blood sample.

         ¶6 Officer Perea did not direct dispatch to explain how Nevada law enforcement should collect the blood sample or whether they needed a search warrant. Although Officer Perea testified at the suppression hearing that whether to obtain a search warrant was his "sole decision," he did not believe he needed to obtain a search warrant for an out-of-state blood draw and he never attempted to do so in prior cases.

         ¶7 NHP dispatch relayed Officer Perea's request to NHP Officer Reinmuth. Officer Reinmuth testified that he went to the hospital, obtained a sample of Havatone's blood from a phlebotomist, and completed a declaration form pursuant to NHP protocol. Havatone was unconscious at the time of the blood draw and the State stipulated that the blood sample was not collected for medical purposes. The officer sent Havatone's blood sample to Arizona DPS for testing. Both officers testified that they followed departmental policies and their law enforcement training regarding the taking of Havatone's blood.

         ¶8 After the suppression hearing, the superior court found that the officers were authorized under both Arizona and Nevada law to obtain a warrantless blood sample, and, even if a warrant was required, the good-faith exception applied. The court denied Havatone's request to suppress the blood test results and the evidence was presented at trial. A jury found Havatone guilty as charged in four counts and guilty of lesser included offenses in the remaining counts. The court sentenced Havatone to a total of 17.5 years' imprisonment.

         ¶9 In his first appeal, Havatone argued the superior court erred in refusing to suppress the blood test results because both states' "implied consent" laws authorizing officers to conduct blood draws from unconscious DUI suspects violated his Fourth Amendment rights. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. ("A.R.S.") § 28-1321(C) (2011); Nev. Rev. Stat. ("N.R.S.") § 484C.160(1), (2) (2009). Citing Missouri v. McNeely,569 U.S. 141 (2013), Havatone argued that the officers lacked exigent ...

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