Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Motor Vehicle Administration v. Medvedeff

Court of Appeals of Maryland

December 19, 2019

MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION
v.
Ariel A. MEDVEDEFF

          Argued: October 7, 2019

Page 956

          Circuit Court for Carroll County, Case No. C-06-CV-18-000090, Thomas F. Stansfield, Judge.

         Argued by Leight D. Collins, Asst. Atty. Gen., (Brian E. Frosh, Atty. Gen., of Maryland, Glen Burnie, MD), on brief, for Petitioner.

         Argued by Kelly S. Kylis (McNamee, Hosea, Jernigan, Kim, Greenan & Lynch, P.A., Annapolis, MD), on brief, for Respondent.

         Argued before: Barbera, C.J., McDonald, Watts, Hotten, Getty, Booth, Alan M. Wilner (Senior Judge, Specially Assigned), JJ.

          OPINION

         Hotten, J.

Page 957

          [466 Md. 458] This appeal was taken from a decision of the Circuit Court for Carroll County, which affirmed the decision of an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"), holding that an officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe Ariel Medvedeff ("Respondent") was driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle while impaired, when the officer approached the vehicle following a traffic infraction, observed Respondent sitting in the driver’s seat, and smelled alcohol on her breath and person. [466 Md. 459] The Motor Vehicle Administration ("Petitioner") appealed the decision by the ALJ and the circuit court, and presents a single issue for our review:

Did the administrative law judge err in imposing his credibility determinations and inferences from circumstances at the scene of the drunk driving arrest to make a legal determination that the detaining officer lacked reasonable grounds to suspect that [Respondent], who was seated in the driver’s seat after a traffic stop, was driving the vehicle, and therefore the officer could not request that she take an alcohol concentration test under Transportation Article § 16-205.1?

          For reasons we shall explain infra, we answer that question in the affirmative and reverse the decision of the Circuit Court for Carroll County.

          FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

          The administrative show-cause hearing elicited the following facts. On December 30, 2017 at approximately 11:45 p.m., Deputy Kathleen Yox ("Deputy Yox") and another unnamed deputy from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department conducted a routine traffic stop of a vehicle they observed failing to stop at a stop sign in Westminster, Maryland. The vehicle— a Ford F-350 pick-up truck— made a right turn at the stop sign instead of coming to a complete stop. As a result of the traffic infraction, Deputy Yox pulled behind the pick-up truck and attempted to pull the driver over. Upon noticing the police vehicle, the driver of the pick-up truck traveled for a short distance before turning left into a shopping center parking lot, where Deputy Yox approached the vehicle from behind. At that time, Deputy Yox observed Respondent sitting in the driver’s seat. A man, who was later identified during the traffic stop as Anthony Crany ("Mr. Crany"), was seated in the back of the truck, behind Respondent.

          Upon approach, Deputy Yox detected the odor of alcohol on Respondent’s breath and person. Accordingly, Deputy Yox requested that Respondent exit the vehicle and submit to a [466 Md. 460] series of Standard Field Sobriety Tests ("SFSTs") to ascertain whether she had been driving while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol. Respondent complied with the request to exit the vehicle, while Mr. Crany remained in the backseat.

         One of the SFSTs Deputy Yox performed on Respondent was a Preliminary Breath Test. The Preliminary Breath Test sample determined that Respondent had a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.