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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published April 14 2010

City files response in NDSU foundation exec's DUI case

Fargo police had reasonable suspicion to pull over a North Dakota State University Development Foundation director and his motion to suppress evidence in the drunken driving case should be denied, a city prosecutor argues.

Prosecutor Jodi Bass also argues in the city’s response filed this week that the officer acted reasonably when she took Jim Miller into two businesses to perform sobriety tests.

Miller, who leads NDSU’s fundraising operation, was arrested Feb. 5 on suspicion of drunken driving, and his attorney is challenging how the officer acted.

Bass says in court documents that police had reasonable suspicion to stop Miller because he made an improper right turn from Second Avenue North onto 10th Street. After making the turn, Miller was driving in the middle of the street before moving into a single lane, the document states.

The officer then observed that Miller had slurred speech, glossy eyes, uncoordinated movements and smelled like alcohol, court records say.

Due to weather conditions, the officer asked Miller to perform field sobriety tests in the basement of The Northern, the closest business, records say.

The officer believed there would not be many people in the business, but when she saw people there she asked Miller if he would go to the nearby Stop-N-Go instead. The officer performed the tests in a back area of the store.

Defense attorney Mark Friese is arguing that police made a spectacle of Miller. Friese also says police did not have cause to stop Miller because snow prevented him from using the turning lane.

A hearing will be held on the motion, but a date had not been set.


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