Monday, February 03, 2014

Stop of Slightly Weaving Vehicle Affirmed

U.S. v. Harmon, 2014 WL 278528 (1/27/14) (NM)(published) - There was reasonable suspicion to stop defendant's vehicle for violation of the statute that requires staying within a lane where the defendant crossed the white fog line once after weaving within the lane. Officer Lucero could reasonably have suspected driver impairment. After the district court denied the motion to suppress, the defendant moved to reopen it upon learning that Officer Lucero had also been involved in an unrelated traffic stop in which he had informed the dispatcher that the stop was motivated by a tip from the DEA and asked the dispatcher to omit that info from the CAD report. Mr. Harmon contended that this info was Brady impeachment material that undermined the officer's credibility and should have been disclosed. The Tenth decides the district court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that the evidence lacked impeachment value and would not have changed the outcome of the suppression hearing. With respect to the prior case, "Officer Lucero was under no obligation to place every piece of relevant information into the CAD report . . . and there were legitimate reasons that he might want to keep confidential the DEA investigation leading to" the defendant's vehicle.