In accordance with an Idaho Supreme Court decision handed down last year, a charge of felony DUI has been dismissed for a Hailey man due to a violation of his Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful searches and seizures.
Jeremy Sean Matthews, 32, was charged with felony DUI on Dec. 29 after a Sun Valley police officer approached his parked vehicle in the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club parking lot. According to a probable-cause affidavit, the officer was responding to a report of an intoxicated driver on Sun Valley Road around 12:30 a.m.
According to the affidavit, Matthews was detained and transported to the Sun Valley Police Department to give a breathalyzer test. Prior to that, the affidavit says, the officer informed Matthews that he was under arrest for misdemeanor DUI.
Matthews’ public defender, Justin McCarthy, filed a motion on April 7 to suppress evidence of the breathalyzer test.
The Idaho Supreme Court ruled last year in the case Clark v. Idaho that officers cannot make misdemeanor arrests without a warrant or without witnessing the offense. According to court documents, the Sun Valley officer was not informed of Matthews’ prior DUI convictions, which raised the alleged offense to a felony, until after the breathalyzer test was conducted.
Because the vehicle was parked and off at the time of the detainment and because the officer did not witness Matthews driving, the misdemeanor arrest was illegal, according to McCarthy’s argument in his motion to suppress.
Court records indicate that the Blaine County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the case on May 20.