Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Charles County Hon. Norman
Steimel, III Judge
T. Quigless, P.J.
Director of Revenue (the "Director") suspended
Raymond Richard Williams' ("Williams" or
"Petitioner") driving privileges, pursuant to
Section 302.505,  for driving with a blood alcohol
concentration above the legal limit. Williams filed a
petition for trial de novo in the Circuit Court of
St. Charles County, arguing there was insufficient reasonable
suspicion to justify the traffic stop. The trial court
granted Williams' petition and reinstated his driving
privileges. The Director appeals from the trial court's
judgment reinstating Williams' driving privileges. We
reverse and remand with instructions.
and Procedural Background
House was on patrol when he observed Williams' vehicle
"drift right crossing both passenger side tires over the
solid white line on the shoulder of the roadway."
Officer House conducted a traffic stop. While speaking with
Williams, Officer House observed Williams' eyes were
glassy and bloodshot, and detected a strong odor of
intoxicating beverage emanating from the vehicle. Williams
agreed to take a set of three Standardized Field Sobriety
tests, which he failed. Officer House then arrested Williams
for driving while intoxicated. Williams was taken to the
police station, where he consented to a chemical breath test.
The test recorded a blood alcohol concentration of .102
an administrative hearing, the Director suspended
Williams' driving privilege, pursuant to Section 302.505,
for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent
or greater. Williams filed a petition for trial de
novo. At trial, the Director submitted Officer
House's alcohol influence report and supporting
documentation into evidence. Williams did not object to any
of the evidence. Williams argued that the alcohol incident
"report is false" and that "[i]t fails on the
sufficiency of the legality of the stop" because
"just touching the fog line is not reasonable suspicion
for anything." The Director responded that, because
Williams was over the age of twenty-one, Section 302.505 did
not require probable cause for the initial traffic stop, only
probable cause for the arrest.
trial court entered judgment against the Director, setting
aside the suspension of Williams' driving privileges. In
its written judgment, the trial court made the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. At approximately 1:41 a.m. on September 5, 2015, the
arresting officer stopped Petitioner's vehicle. A strong
smell of alcoholic beverages emanated from Petitioner's
breath. Petitioner's eyes were bloodshot and glassy.
Petitioner, who was the only occupant of the car and who was
sitting in the driver's seat, admitted he had been
drinking. When Petitioner got out of his vehicle to perform
certain field sobriety tests, he was swaying. Petitioner
failed the HGN test, the one-leg stand test and the
2. The arresting officer asked Petitioner to take a chemical
breath test. Petitioner's chemical breath test recorded a
blood alcohol concentration of .102% by weight. The accuracy
of these results was not challenged at trial.
3. To prevail here, the Director must establish by a
preponderance of the evidence that Petitioner was driving
with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater.
§302.505.1, RSMo. Generally, the probable cause is
provided by some illegal or erratic driving behavior that
first attracts the attention of the arresting officer.
4. Here, the only behavior described by the
arresting officer is that he "observed
[Petitioner's] vehicle driving right crossing both
passenger side tires over the solid white line on the
shoulder of the roadway." Resp. Ex. A. Without more,
this did not provide sufficient reasonable suspicion to
justify the traffic stop. State v. Beck, 436 S.W.3d 566 (Mo.
5. Based upon the findings set forth above, the Court does
not find that, on September 5, 2015, the arresting officer
had probable cause to believe Petitioner was driving with a
blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater.