Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
TROY N. TRENTMANN, Appellant,
DIRECTOR OF REVENUE, STATE OF MISSOURI Respondent.
from the Circuit Court of Franklin County Cause No.
15AB-AC02250 Honorable Stanley D. Williams
M. GAERTNER, JR., PRESIDING JUDGE.
Trentmann (Trentmann) appeals the trial court's judgment
sustaining the revocation of Trentmann's driving
privileges for refusing to consent to a breath test following
an arrest for driving while intoxicated. Trentmann argues:
(1) the trial court's finding that State Trooper Daniel
Highly (Trooper Highly) had reasonable grounds to believe
that Trentmann drove while intoxicated was against the weight
of the evidence, and (2) the trial court erroneously applied
the law by finding that Trooper Highly satisfied statutory
requirements for requesting a breath test to determine the
alcohol content of Trentmann's blood. We affirm.
November 26, 2015, at approximately 5:18 a.m., Trooper Highly
received a dispatch call regarding a motor vehicle crash. At
5:54 a.m., Trooper Highly arrived at the scene of the crash
and observed a silver Dodge Durango sitting on its roof. An
ambulance was already on the scene. Trooper Highly asked
emergency personnel where the driver of the vehicle was
located, and they informed Trooper Highly that the driver was
inside the ambulance. Upon entering the ambulance, Trooper
Highly found Trentmann, who stated he had been the only
person in the vehicle when it crashed.
observing Trentmann, Trooper Highly reported a moderate odor
of intoxicants, watery and bloodshot eyes, and mumbled
speech. Trooper Highly asked Trentmann what happened, and
Trentmann stated, "[n]o idea." Trentmann admitted
that he consumed alcohol "[l]ast night" and stated
that he "woke up this morning to go home." Trooper
Highly asked whether Trentmann woke up in the vehicle, and
Trentmann responded, "[w]ell I woke up...I, I don't
recall." Trooper Highly asked Trentmann when he stopped
drinking the night before, and Trentmann responded,
"Around seven o'clock." When asked how much he
drank, he replied, "[n]ot a lot." After observing
Trentmann's condition and responses, Trooper Highly asked
Trentmann to consent to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT).
Trentmann responded, "I guess so." Trooper Highly
asked whether the response indicated yes or no, to which
Trentmann answered "[n]o." Trooper Highly asked to
check Trentmann's eyes and to administer a PBT. Trentmann
refused both requests.
Trentmann's refusal, Trooper Highly arrested Trentmann
for driving while intoxicated and read Trentmann
Missouri's implied consent law. Subsequently, Trooper Highly
asked Trentmann to submit to a breath test to check the
alcohol content of his blood. Trentmann failed to respond,
and Trooper Highly treated the silence as a refusal.
Trentmann refused this breath test, the Director revoked
Trentmann's driving privileges for one year pursuant to
Section 577.041. Trentmann filed a petition for review in
the circuit court, and the circuit court entered judgment
sustaining the Director's revocation. This appeal
Court will affirm the trial court's judgment unless it is
unsupported by substantial evidence, it is against the weight
of the evidence, or it erroneously applies the law.
Murphy v. Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo. banc 1976).
In reviewing factual assessments, we defer to the trial
court's findings. Sostman v. Dir. of Revenue,
363 S.W.3d 55, 57 (Mo. App. E.D. 2011). For legal inquiries,
we review questions of law without deference to the trial
court's judgment. Hampton v. Dir. of Revenue, 22
S.W.3d 217, 220 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000).
first point on appeal, Trentmann argues that the trial
court's finding that Trooper Highly had probable cause to
believe Trentmann drove while intoxicated ...