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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published March 24 2010

Attorney questions field sobriety test locations in NDSU foundation executive's DUI case

The attorney for the North Dakota State University Development Foundation executive director is arguing to have evidence suppressed in a drunken driving case.

Mark Friese, defense attorney for Jim Miller, said in a motion filed in Fargo Municipal Court that police made a spectacle of Miller on Feb. 5 by taking him into The Northern Gentleman’s Club and then Stop-N-Go after pulling Miller over.

Friese also argues that no traffic violation occurred to warrant the traffic stop.

Miller was driving west on Second Avenue North and turned right onto 10th Street from the center lane, not the turning lane, before being stopped, police said.

Friese said in court records that piles of snow prevented Miller from using the right turn lane.

Once Miller was stopped, the officer took him into the basement of The Northern and later took him to the nearby Stop-N-Go, where field sobriety tests were conducted, court records say.

Friese said Tuesday he has concerns about police conducting field sobriety tests in front of other people.

“There are all sorts of private places where you can do that,” Friese said.

Miller was scheduled to appear in court this week, but the pretrial hearing has been continued until April 13.

Fargo Police Lt. Pat Claus referred questions to the city prosecutor.

Prosecutor Jodi Bass said the city plans to file a response, but she declined to comment further while the case is open.

John Menge, an associate at that Stop-N-Go location, said he’s seen police conduct field sobriety checks inside the convenience store when it’s particularly cold outside.

On Feb. 5, the low temperature was 26 degrees.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590