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State v. Richard Fournier
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT					Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	1998 ME 57 
Docket:	Pen-97-20
Submitted
 on Briefs:	October 23, 1997
Decided:	March 24, 1998

Panel:	WATHEN, C.J., and CLIFFORD, RUDMAN, DANA, LIPEZ, and SAUFLEY, JJ.




STATE OF MAINE v. RICHARD P. FOURNIER


DANA, J.

	[¶1]  Richard P. Fournier appeals from the judgment entered in the
Superior Court (Penobscot County, Mead, J.) convicting him of operating
after revocation, Class C, in violation of 29-A M.R.S.A. § 2557 (1996 & Supp.
1997), following his entry of a conditional guilty plea pursuant to M.R. Crim.
P. 11(a)(2).  Fournier contends that the officer who stopped his car lacked a
reasonable suspicion justifying the investigatory stop.  We disagree and
affirm the judgment.
	[¶2]  On April 26, 1996, Officer Paul Colley of the Bangor Police
Department overheard a report on his police radio that two men were
drinking in a car, bearing the Maine license plate 749CR, and traveling
inbound on Ohio Street.  Within minutes of hearing this report Colley
observed a vehicle bearing that license plate, occupied by two men, traveling
inbound on Ohio Street.  Colley stopped the vehicle and requested
identification from the driver, Fournier.  Colley concluded that Fournier was
not intoxicated, but cited Fournier for operating after revocation.
	[¶3]  Fournier filed a motion to suppress, asserting, inter alia, that
Colley lacked a reasonable articulable suspicion justifying the stop.  The
court (Kravchuk, J.) denied the motion.  Fournier then entered a conditional
guilty plea, preserving for appellate review the denial of his motion to
suppress.
	[¶4]  Fournier contends that the outcome of this appeal is dictated by
State v. Nelson, 638 A.2d 720 (Me. 1994).  In Nelson we found that when an
officer observed an individual consume only one beer while sitting in a
parked car, and observed nothing indicating impairment on the part of that
individual, the officer did not have a legal justification to stop that individual
once he drove off.  Id. at 722.  The officer observed nothing indicating "that
criminal conduct or a civil violation ha[d] occurred, [was] occurring, or [was]
about to occur."  State v. Brown, 1997 ME 90, ¶ 5, 694 A.2d 453, 455.
	[¶5]  The instant case is distinguishable.  Colley overheard a radio
report stating that the "two male occupants in [the car] were drinking and it
was inbound on Ohio Street."  Pursuant to 29-A M.R.S.A. § 2112 (1996) "[a]
person who drinks alcohol while operating a motor vehicle on a public way
commits a traffic infraction."  Therefore, Colley did have a reasonable
articulable suspicion that a civil violation had occurred or was occurring,
thus justifying a brief investigatory stop of Fournier's vehicle.  Brown, 1997
ME 90, ¶ 5, 694 A.2d at 455.
	[¶6]  Fournier's other assertions on appeal do not warrant discussion.
	The entry is:
					Judgment affirmed.
                  
Attorneys for State: R. Christopher Almy, District Attorney C. Daniel Wood, Asst. Dist. Atty. 97 Hammond Street Bangor, ME 04401 Attorney for defendant: John D. Bunker, Esq. Paine, Lynch & Harris, P.A. P O Box 1451 Bangor, ME 04402-1451