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Parshall woman appeals actual physical control case to ND Supreme Court

A 46-year-old Parshall woman is arguing that evidence in her intoxicated while in acual physical control of a motor vehicle case should have been suppressed because Ward County deputies didn’t have probable cause to detain her on Dec. 8, 2019.

Stephanie Ann Foote is appealing the case, which was heard by North Central District Court Judge Todd Cresap, to the North Dakota Supreme Court. Justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Oct. 28.

According to written arguments, Foote’s vehicle was stopped on an approach 12 miles west of Minot on Road 14. Ward County deputies approached the vehicle and saw Foote inside talking on her cell phone. According to her lawyer’s written argument, the car was parked legally, there was no sign of an accident and there was no indication that there were equipment violations. One of the deputies knocked on her window and “instructed” her to roll down the window and hand over her ID. Then a deputy asked her to get out of the car and come back to the patrol vehicle to explain what was going on with her vehicle. According to the complaint, neither of the deputies asked if Foote was OK or needed help. Neither of them mentioned smelling alcohol until she had been taken to the patrol vehicle. Her attorney is arguing that there were two illegal seizures, once when the deputy instructed her to roll down the window and once when she was asked to get out of the vehicle.

Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney John Gonzalez argues in his response that the evidence is “fairly capable” of supporting the district court’s findings that Foote was not detained either when the deputy knocked on her window or when he asked her to get out of her vehicle and the deputy was acting in a “community caretaker” role.

Foote was sentenced on April 30 for the Class B misdemeanor offense and was ordered to pay $750 in court costs, obtain a chemical dependency evaluation and attend a victim impact panel.

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