BY THE COURT
Whether a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for
a particular action involves a mixed question of law and
fact. As for whether reasonable grounds existed for an
officer to believe a person was driving under the influence,
we review the district court's factual findings to
determine whether the findings are supported by substantial
competent evidence. Although we defer to the district
court's factual findings if substantial evidence supports
them, an appellate court must independently review the
ultimate legal conclusion regarding whether an officer had
Under Kansas law, any person who operates or attempts to
operate a vehicle within the state is deemed to have given
consent to submit to a test to determine the presence of
alcohol or drugs.
Under Kansas law, an officer shall request a person to submit
to an evidentiary breath test if the officer has reasonable
grounds to believe the person was operating or attempting to
operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
both, and the person has been arrested or otherwise taken
into custody for any violation of any state statute, county
resolution, or city ordinance.
Reasonable grounds is the equivalent of probable cause.
Probable cause is determined by evaluating the totality of
the circumstances, giving consideration to the information
and fair inferences therefrom, known to the officer at the
time of arrest, with no rigid application of factors.
fact-finder cannot disregard undisputed evidence that is not
improbable, unreasonable, or untrustworthy. Such evidence
must be regarded as conclusive.
State v. Robinson, 55 Kan.App.2d 209, Syl. ¶ 2,
410 P.3d 923 (2017), this court held that K.S.A. 2016 Supp.
8-1012 is unconstitutional to the extent that the statute
criminalizes a person's right to withdraw his or her
consent to a warrantless search and it is not narrowly
tailored to serve a compelling interest. But this holding
does not mean that a court cannot consider a person's
preliminary breath test (PBT) refusal as part of the
reasonable grounds analysis. The PBT is still a valid tool
for a law enforcement officer to use in investigating a
person for driving under the influence, but the officer
should no longer warn the person that refusal to submit to
testing is a traffic infraction.
from Russell District Court; Mike Keeley, judge.
D. Shultz, of Legal Services Bureau, Kansas Department of
Revenue, for appellant.
Michael S. Holland II, of Holland and Holland, of Russell,
Hill, P.J., Pierron and Malone, JJ.
second time, the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDR) appeals
the district court's decision to set aside the
administrative suspension of James Forrest's driver's
license based on a breath test failure. In the first appeal,
this court reversed the district court because it incorrectly
placed the burden on the KDR and it improperly disregarded
Forrest's preliminary breath test (PBT) refusal. On
remand, the district court corrected these errors but still
found that the arresting officer lacked reasonable grounds to
request that Forrest submit to testing. Although these errors
were corrected, we once again reverse the district
court's judgment because some of the district court's
factual findings were unsupported by substantial ...