State v. Spaulding, 21-1952

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtCHICCHELLY, JUDGE.
PartiesSTATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DALE LEE SPAULDING, Defendant-Appellant
Docket Number21-1952
Decision Date17 November 2022

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

DALE LEE SPAULDING, Defendant-Appellant

No. 21-1952

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 17, 2022

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Greene County, Joseph B. McCarville, District Associate Judge.

A defendant appeals his conviction for operating while intoxicated, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2 (2020).

Jesse A. Macro, Jr. of Macro &Kozlowski, LLP, West Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Schumacher and Chicchelly, JJ.



Dale Spaulding appeals his conviction for operating while intoxicated, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2(2)(a) (2020). He alleges there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. Finding to the contrary, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Shortly before 3:00 a.m. on November 29, 2020, two uniformed police officers responded to a radio report of a stationary vehicle with a potentially unconscious driver. Upon arrival, officers found Spaulding seemingly asleep in the driver's seat of a vehicle. The vehicle was stopped at an intersection but still in drive. Officer Johnathan Young knocked on the window of the vehicle until Spaulding awoke. After Spaulding placed the vehicle into park, Officer Young administered standardized field-sobriety and advanced-roadside-impairment testing. Officer Young testified that Spaulding failed this testing and exhibited impairment through hopping, swaying, missing heel-to-toe steps, and completing an incorrect number of steps, among other indicators.

Spaulding admitted consuming one alcoholic beverage that evening and stated he was simply tired. Spaulding consented to a search of his vehicle, wherein officers found a glass pipe consistent with methamphetamine use. Based on the roadside testing and discovery of drug paraphernalia, Officer Young believed Spaulding was impaired on a combination of alcohol and narcotics. He arrested Spaulding for operating while intoxicated (OWI). During a pat-down search, he found a marijuana pipe in Spaulding's pocket.

Once at the police station, Spaulding signed a form indicating his consent to provide breath and urine samples. His blood alcohol content was measured at


0.04. Toxicology reports indicated his urine contained amphetamine, methamphetamine, and THC metabolites.

In September 2021, a jury found Spaulding guilty of OWI, first offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2(2)(a). The district court denied Spaulding's motions in arrest of judgment and for new trial. Spaulding filed a timely appeal.

II. Review.

We review a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence for the correction of errors at law. State v. Huser, 894 N.W.2d 472, 490 (Iowa 2017). If substantial evidence supports the jury's verdict, we will uphold it. State v. Sanford, 814 N.W.2d 611, 615 (Iowa 2012). "Evidence is considered substantial if, when viewed in the light most favorable to the State, it can convince a rational jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Id.

Spaulding contends there was insufficient evidence to support a finding of intoxication or impairment because the results of the field-sobriety and urinesample tests were not credible or reliable. This argument...

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