State v. Bouvier

Decision Date07 December 2021
Docket NumberAC 42430
Citation209 Conn.App. 9,267 A.3d 211
Parties STATE of Connecticut v. Michael Bryant BOUVIER
CourtConnecticut Court of Appeals

Patrick Tomasiewicz, Hartford, for the appellant (defendant).

Felicia Valentino, special deputy assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Sharmese Walcott, state's attorney, and Denise Smoker and Robert Diaz, senior assistant state's attorneys, for the appellee (state).

Prescott, Moll and Suarez, Js.

PRESCOTT, J.

The defendant, Michael Bryant Bouvier, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1) and reckless driving in violation of General Statutes § 14-222. He also appeals from the judgment of conviction, following a trial to the court on a part B information, of being a third time offender in violation of § 14-227a (g) (3). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) denied his motion to suppress statements he made to the police during a postarrest interview because he allegedly had failed to voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently waive his Miranda rights1 prior to responding to questioning, (2) denied his motion in limine that sought to preclude the testimony of the arresting state troopers as a sanction for one of the troopers having turned off his body microphone during the motor vehicle stop, and (3) sustained the state's objection to questions regarding a finding made by a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing officer that no probable cause existed to arrest him. We affirm the judgment of the court.

The jury reasonably could have found the following facts. During the early morning hours of June 1, 2017, Trooper Thomas Krynski of the Connecticut State Police was on duty patrolling Interstate 84 in the Hartford and West Hartford areas. The roadway was wet due to rain. At approximately 12:43 a.m., Krynski was operating his police cruiser near exit 46 when he observed in his mirror a car approaching in the left center lane. The car passed Krynski at approximately eighty miles per hour, far in excess of the fifty mile per hour speed limit. Krynski followed the car for approximately three miles, during which time he observed the driver making lane changes to pass other vehicles without using his turn signal, drifting from one lane to another, and not staying within a designated lane. When the car exited the highway at exit 42, Krynski followed and observed the car fail to stop at the stop sign located at the end of the exit ramp. At that time, Krynski initiated a traffic stop using his cruiser's lights and siren.

Krynski approached the driver's side window of the car and asked the driver, who was the sole occupant of the car, for his license, registration, and proof of insurance. The paperwork identified the driver as the defendant. Krynski observed that the defendant had glassy and bloodshot eyes, and he detected an odor of alcohol coming from the car. Krynski decided to conduct a preliminary sobriety test. He asked the defendant to follow his finger with his eyes and observed that the defendant's eyes were "jerking." He asked the defendant if he had had anything to drink, and the defendant responded, "Nothing." He next asked the defendant to step out of the car so that he could conduct the preliminary eye test a second time. Krynski again noted "jerkiness" in the defendant's eyes. When asked, the defendant stated that he was coming from his girlfriend's house in Hartford.

Krynski returned to his cruiser to request back up so that he could conduct standardized field sobriety tests. Shortly thereafter, Trooper Michael Quagliaroli arrived in his cruiser on the scene. Krynski administered three separate field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test. The administration of the sobriety tests was recorded by the dashboard camera on Krynski's cruiser, the audio for which was captured by a microphone worn by Krynski on his uniform. On the basis of his observations of the defendant's performance of the field sobriety tests, Krynski determined that none was performed to standard.

Krynski then approached Quagliaroli to speak to him. While doing so, Krynski turned off his body microphone for less than one minute. During this time, the video recording nevertheless continued. While the microphone was off, the two troopers discussed whether a sufficient basis to arrest the defendant existed, as well as whether they should leave his car on the street or have it towed. They ultimately concluded that the defendant should be arrested, and they placed him under arrest and transported him in a cruiser to the police station.

During the drive to the police station, Krynski orally advised the defendant of his Miranda rights. At the police station, Krynski brought the defendant into the booking area at which time he again advised the defendant of his Miranda rights, this time reading from a form. Krynski next explained the Breathalyzer testing process and the consequences of a refusal and asked the defendant to submit to a Breathalyzer test. The defendant refused the test and declined an opportunity to speak to a lawyer. Krynski called in another trooper to witness the defendant's refusal. After Krynski again advised the defendant of the test and his right to refuse, the defendant refused to submit to the Breathalyzer test. Krynski then asked the defendant a series of questions listed on a postarrest interview form. When asked whether he had been drinking prior to his arrest, the defendant responded that he drank beer earlier in the evening at the Pig's Eye Pub in Hartford, but had stopped around 11 p.m. after consuming two, twenty-three ounce beers.

The state charged the defendant with operating under the influence of alcohol (OUI) and reckless driving. The state also charged the defendant in a part B information with being a third time OUI offender in violation of § 14-227a (g) (2) and (g) (3). Following a trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of both OUI and reckless driving. The defendant waived his right to a jury trial regarding the part B information, which then was tried to the court. The court, D'Addabbo , J. , found the defendant guilty of being a third time OUI offender. The court subsequently imposed on the defendant a total effective sentence of three years of incarceration, suspended after twenty months, followed by three years of probation. This appeal followed. Additional facts and procedural history will be set forth as necessary.

I

The defendant first claims that the court improperly denied his motion to suppress the statements he gave to the police during his postarrest interview. The defendant specifically argues that the evidence establishes that Krynski failed to advise the defendant of his Miranda rights at the station before questioning him. The defendant additionally argues that the court improperly determined that he implicitly had waived his Miranda rights prior to speaking with the police. We are not persuaded.

The following procedural history is relevant to our resolution of this claim. The evidence portion of the trial commenced on October 15, 2018. The state asked Krynski on direct examination whether he had asked the defendant any questions after the defendant had declined to submit to the Breathalyzer test. Krynski listed a series of processing questions from a postarrest interview form that he had asked the defendant, including questions concerning the defendant's height, weight, social security number, address, and phone number. Krynski also testified that, in addition to the processing questions, there was "another section" of the postarrest interview form. The defendant objected, and the jury was excused. The defendant requested an offer of proof, and the state explained that it had planned to elicit from Krynski the answers the defendant had given to certain questions from the postarrest interview form, including that the defendant had consumed two, twenty-three ounce beers at the Pig's Eye Pub.

The defendant argued that the admission of his answers regarding his alcohol consumption violated his constitutional rights under Miranda v. Arizona , 384 U.S. 436, 478–79, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966), and State v. Ferrell , 191 Conn. 37, 463 A.2d 573 (1983). The defendant asserted that he did not waive his Miranda rights because he did not sign a Miranda waiver form before the arresting officers questioned him.

During a recess on October 15, 2018, the defendant filed a corresponding written motion to suppress the statements he had made after his arrest and while in police custody,2 and, outside the presence of the jury, the court heard testimony from Krynski as well as argument from both parties. On October 16, 2018, the court orally denied the defendant's motion to suppress the statements and later issued a written decision on the motion, dated December 21, 2018.

The court found the following facts in connection with the defendant's motion to suppress. Krynski first orally advised the defendant of his Miranda rights in the cruiser, shortly following his arrest. He was not questioned at that time.

At the station, and after advising the defendant of his Miranda rights for the second time, Krynski asked the defendant a series of questions printed in section D, titled "Post Arrest Interview," of the Officer's OUI Arrest and Alcohol Test Refusal or Failure Report form. Krynski asked the defendant, inter alia, how much alcohol he had consumed, what type of alcohol he had consumed, and where the defendant had been drinking on May 31, 2017. The defendant responded that he had consumed alcoholic beverages at a local bar.3

The court determined that the defendant was in custody at the time that he had made the statements and that the statements were elicited as a result of interrogation by the...

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4 cases
  • Vandeusen v. Comm'r of Corr.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • May 10, 2022
    ...to disregard binding authority of our Supreme Court or to overturn a decision of another panel of this court." State v. Bouvier , 209 Conn. App. 9, 43 n.21, 267 A.3d 211 (2021), cert. denied, 341 Conn. 903, 269 A.3d 789 (2022). Accordingly, we decline to do so.16 Because we determine on the......
  • D2E Holdings, LLC v. Corp. For Urban Home Ownership of New Haven
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • May 31, 2022
    ... ... of the standard to the evidence ... presented at trial. See, e.g., State v. Acker, 160 ... Conn.App. 734, 741-42, 125 A.3d 1057 (2015) (reframing claim ... on appeal on basis of content of appellant's brief, ... decision of another panel of this court. See, e.g., State ... v. Bouvier, 209 Conn.App. 9, 43 n.21, 267 A.3d 211 ... (2021), cert, denied, 341 Conn. 903, 269 A.3d 789 ... (2022) ... [ 17 ] As fully ... ...
  • D2E Holdings, LLC v. Corp. for Urban Home Ownership of New Haven
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • May 31, 2022
    ...disregard our Supreme Court's precedent and to overturn a decision of another panel of this court. See, e.g., State v. Bouvier , 209 Conn. App. 9, 43 n.21, 267 A.3d 211 (2021), cert. denied, 341 Conn. 903, 269 A.3d 789 (2022).17 As fully explained in part II of this opinion, if the legal ba......
  • State v. Bouvier
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • February 8, 2022
    ...senior assistant state's attorney, in opposition.The defendant's petition for certification to appeal from the Appellate Court, 209 Conn. App. 9, 267 A.3d 211, is denied. MULLINS and KAHN, Js., did not participate in the consideration of or decision on this ...

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