FROM THE SALINE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 63CR-13-703]
HONORABLE GRISHAM PHILLIPS, JUDGE
Law Firm, by: F. Parker Jones III, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Christian Harris, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
K. WOOD, Associate Justice
Lockhart was convicted of driving while intoxicated, his
sixth conviction for this offense, and failure to submit to a
chemical test. He now asserts a plethora of arguments in this
appeal, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence, the
initial traffic stop, the validity of the criminal
information, and various sentencing issues. We accepted
certification of this case from the Arkansas Court of Appeals
under Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 1-2(d). We affirm on all
grounds Lockhart asserts for reversal.
appeal comes from Edward Lockhart's convictions for
driving while intoxicated and for failing to submit to a
chemical test. A jury sentenced him to twenty years in
prison. The relevant facts, which were adduced at trial, are
as follows. In the early morning in November 2013, Officer
Troy White observed a car driving ten miles under the speed
limit on Highway 5 in Bryant. Officer White testified that,
after following the car for some time, he saw the car weaving
and crossing the centerline a number of times. Officer White
then turned on his patrol car's blue lights and pulled
the car over.
Lockhart was the car's driver. Officer White approached
the car and smelled a strong odor of alcohol. Lockhart asked
if he could step out of the car, and Officer White agreed.
After Lockhart exited his car, Officer White saw "a
little stagger to his walk." At one point, Lockhart
asked where he was stopped. Officer White answered that he
was in Bryant. Lockhart said he lived just up the road in
Bryant, but Officer White later determined that Lockhart
actually lived on 24th Street in Little Rock, at least a
twenty-five-minute drive away.
White also performed three field-sobriety tests. The first
test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, yielded no conclusion.
The second test, the one-leg stand, Lockhart barely
completed, and this test, too, yielded no conclusion.
Lockhart indicated that he could not complete this test due
to a military-related injury. The final test, the field
breathalyzer, yielded no conclusion because Lockhart refused
to submit. Based on all the foregoing, Officer White arrested
Lockhart and took him to the station.
station, Officer White again attempted to have Lockhart
complete a breathalyzer test. Before attempting this, Officer
White read Lockhart a statement-of-rights form regarding the
driving-while-intoxicated laws. Officer White asked Lockhart
if he understood these rights and whether he would consent to
the test. Lockhart said that he did not understand and would
not take the test. Lockhart also asked to speak with his
attorney. Officer White refused, telling Lockhart that he had
no right to an attorney before taking the
machine-breathalyzer test. Lockhart ultimately refused to
take this test as well.
Sufficiency of evidence
first argument on appeal is that substantial evidence does
not support either conviction. First, he asserts that no
evidence was ever admitted to show that his motor skills were
impaired. Second, he argues that his failure to submit
conviction should have been dismissed because the police
officer never informed him that he had no right to counsel
when deciding to take the machine-breathalyzer test. These
arguments lack merit.
reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence,
this court determines whether the verdict is supported by
substantial evidence, direct or circumstantial. Jeffries
v. State, 2014 Ark. 239, 434 S.W.3d 889. Substantial
evidence is evidence forceful enough to compel a conclusion
one way or the other beyond suspicion or conjecture.
Id. This court views the evidence in the light most
favorable to the verdict, and only evidence supporting the
verdict will be considered. Id. It is well settled
that it is the province of the fact-finder to determine the
weight of evidence and the credibility of witnesses.
Johnson v. State, 337 Ark. 196, 987 S.W.2d 694
in effect at the time provided that "[i]t is unlawful
and punishable as provided in this chapter for a person who
is intoxicated to operate or be in actual physical control of
a motorboat on the waters of this state or a motor
vehicle." Ark. Code Ann. § 5-65-103(a)(1) (Supp.
2013). Intoxicated is defined by statute as follows:
[I]nfluenced or affected by the ingestion of alcohol, a
controlled substance, any intoxicant, or any combination of
alcohol, a controlled substance, or an intoxicant, to such a
degree that the driver's reactions, motor skills, and
judgment are substantially altered and the driver, therefore,
constitutes a clear and ...