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Fischer v. Kansas Department of Revenue

Court of Appeals of Kansas

December 29, 2017

Tyler Fischer, Appellant,
v.
Kansas Department of Revenue, Appellee.

         SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

         1. The term "reasonable grounds" is equated to probable cause. The terms are often used interchangeably.

         2. Probable cause exists where the facts and circumstances within the officer's knowledge, and of which he or she has reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient in themselves to warrant a person of reasonable caution in the belief that an offense has been or is being committed. It is determined by evaluating the totality of the circumstances.

         3. Probable cause does not require an officer have evidence of every element of the crime.

         4. On a continuum of proof, probable cause is a higher standard than reasonable suspicion-which requires a showing less than a preponderance of the evidence.

         5. The application of the exclusionary rule for the violation of a person's rights under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution does not apply to civil administrative driver's license actions.

         6. Violation of K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 8-1567a results only in civil administrative driver's license sanctions. The statute imposes no criminal penalties.

         Appeal from Ellis District Court; Glenn R. Braun, judge. Affirmed.

          Michael S. Holland II, of Holland and Holland, of Russell, for appellant.

          John D. Shultz, deputy general counsel, Legal Services Bureau, Kansas Department of Revenue, for appellee.

          Before Arnold-Burger, C.J., Leben and Powell, JJ.

          Arnold-Burger, C.J.

         Tyler Fischer, who was under the age of 21 when tested, appeals the suspension of his driver's license for operating a vehicle at a time when his breath alcohol content was over .02. He presents two arguments on appeal.

         First, he contends that K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 8-1012 is unconstitutional because it allows a driver to be subjected to a search by way of a preliminary breath test (PBT) when an officer merely has reasonable suspicion-as opposed to probable cause-to believe a driver is under the influence of alcohol. He further asserts that because there was an insufficient basis to request the PBT and there was not enough evidence to arrest him without it, his driver's license suspension should be vacated. We find we do not need to reach Fischer's constitutional claim because the district court had ...


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