People of Michigan v. David Allan Lucynski

Michigan Supreme Court Lansing, Michigan Syllabus Chief Justice: Justices: Bridget M. McCormack Brian K. Zahra David F. Viviano Richard H. Bernstein Elizabeth T. Clement Megan K. Cavanagh Elizabeth M. Welch This syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been Reporter of Decisions: prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. Kathryn L. Loomis PEOPLE v LUCYNSKI Docket No. 162833. Argued April 26, 2022 (Calendar No. 2). Decided July 26, 2022. David A. Lucynski was charged in the 71B District Court with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), MCL 257.625(9)(c); driving with a suspended license, MCL 257.904(3)(b); and operating a vehicle with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, MCL 257.624a(1). On a January morning, Tuscola County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Robinson observed two cars stopped in the middle of the road; the vehicles were facing opposite directions with the drivers’ windows next to one another, and the drivers appeared to be talking to one another with their windows down. One of the vehicles was defendant’s car. Robinson testified at the preliminary examination that he believed that the vehicles were impeding traffic in violation of MCL 257.676b, even though there were no other vehicles on the road at the time. Robinson also testified that he thought a drug transaction might have occurred. Robinson followed defendant in a marked patrol vehicle and turned onto the same one-lane driveway that defendant had entered, parking a few feet behind defendant’s car and blocking the only path of egress. Neither the siren nor the emergency lights on Robinson’s vehicle were activated. When Robinson exited his patrol car, defendant was standing next to the driver’s side door of his car, facing Robinson. Robinson immediately asked whether defendant lived there, and defendant responded that it was a friend’s house as he walked toward the deputy. Robinson asked defendant if defendant had his driver’s license, to which defendant replied in the negative; upon Robinson’s further questioning, defendant responded that he did not have a valid driver’s license. Robinson testified that because he smelled the odor of marijuana and alcohol emanating from defendant and noticed that defendant’s eyes were bloodshot, he proceeded to investigate whether defendant was intoxicated. Defendant admitted to smoking marijuana about 20 minutes earlier and to consuming alcohol during the day. Defendant then consented to a search of his vehicle, and Robinson found both marijuana and an open container of alcohol inside. Robinson performed several field-sobriety tests, and defendant was arrested. At the preliminary examination, defendant’s attorney asked to submit briefing to challenge the validity of the stop under MCL 257.676b and to argue that the evidence obtained by the police should be excluded. The district court, Jason E. Bitzer, J., allowed briefing and later held that the prosecution failed to prove that Robinson had sufficient cause to initiate the stop. The court held that MCL 257.676b(1) could not be violated without a showing that traffic was actually impeded in some way. Accordingly, the court held that …

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