KOSRAE STATE COURT TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as Kosrae v. Sigrah
11 FSM Intrm. 249 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002)

[11 FSM Intrm. 249]

STATE OF KOSRAE,
Plaintiff,
 
vs.
 
STEVEN J. SIGRAH,
Defendant.
 
TRAFFIC CASE 212-01
 
AMENDED ORDER DENYING MOTION
TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE
 
Aliksa B. Aliksa
Associate Justice
 
Hearing: July 30, 2002
 
Decided: September 16, 2002
 
Rehearing: November 12, 2002
 
Amended: November 21,2002
 
APPEARANCES:
 
For the Plaintiff:                    Paul J. Simonett, Esq. (July 30th hearing)
                                               Assistant Attorney General
                                               Paliknoa Welly, trial counselor (both hearings)
                                               State Prosecutor
                                               Office of the Kosrae Attorney General
                                                P.O. Box 870
                                                Lelu, Kosrae FM 96944

[11 FSM Intrm. 250]

For the Defendant:                   Paul Vignos, Esq.
                                                   Legislative Counsel, Kosrae Legislature
                                                   P.O. Box 187
                                                   Lelu, Kosrae FM 96944

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HEADNOTES

Constitutional Law ) Kosrae ) Legislative Powers; Criminal Law and Procedure ) Arrest and Custody
      Kosrae state legislators are, in all cases except felony or breach of peace, privileged from arrest during their attendance at sessions or committee meetings of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 253 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure ) Arrest and Custody
      When an arrest occurs will depend on the facts of each case. A person should be considered "arrested" when oneís freedom of movement is substantially restricted or controlled by a police officer exercising official authority, based upon the officerís suspicion that the detained persons may be or may have been involved in commission of a crime. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 253 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure ) Arrest and Custody
     The validity of an arrest is judged by an objective standard, instead of accepting the police officerís personal motives. Factors which may be considered include a police officerís display of a weapon, threatening presence of several officers, or a police officerís use of language indicating compliance is required. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 253 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure ) Arrest and Custody
      Arrest means placing any person under any form of detention by legal authority. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 253 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure ) Arrest and Custody
     Where a personís freedom of movement was not substantially restricted or controlled when he was stopped at a roadblock and was issued a citation and where there was no display of weapon by the police officer and there was no threatening presence or language by the police officers who conducted the roadblock, based upon an objective standard, the person was not arrested when he was stopped at a roadblock and issued a citation. Evidence obtained under these circumstances at a roadblock was not obtained in violation of a Senatorís immunity from arrest. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 253 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Search and Seizure
     Stopping motorists on a public road is reasonable, even if there is no particularized suspicion of crime, but police roadblocks must be designed to advance a specific purpose, such as eradication of drunken driving, and the court must determine whether the roadblock was reasonable, through consideration of several factors: the importance of the stateís interest served by the roadblock; the effectiveness of the roadblock in advancing the public interest, and the degree to which the roadblock interferes with the motorist. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 254 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).

Search and Seizure
     When a roadblockís purpose was to check motorists for valid driverís licenses and vehicle registrations, the roadblock was designed to advance a specific state and public interest of assuring that
 
[11 FSM Intrm. 251]

drivers are properly licensed to drive, and to assure that the vehicle being driven meets minimum safety standards by being registered, and it addressed problems which were associated with the persons stopped. When a roadblock was designed to advance a specific public interest and was effective in advancing that public interest because motorists were detained for a temporary and brief period of time, interfering with them only to a minimal degree, the roadblock was reasonable under the Kosrae Constitution and a warrant was not required to conduct it nor was a warrant required for the police to stop a person at the roadblock. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 254 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure) Interrogation and Confession
     A defendantís statement may be used as evidence against him only if the statement was made voluntarily. In deciding whether a statement was made voluntarily, the court will consider the totality of the circumstances. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 255 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure) Interrogation and Confession
     The protection against self-incrimination requires the giving of the so-called "Miranda" warnings to the accused, prior to questioning of the accused. The "Miranda" warnings include statements made by the police officers to an accused regarding the accusedís right to remain silent and right to legal counsel, free of charge. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 255 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure ) Interrogation and Confession
     Routine questioning by government agents as part of procedure does not require Miranda warnings. The purpose of this type of procedural questioning is not to compel the person being questioned to incriminate himself. The government agents cannot be held to foresee that criminal liability of the subject might be exposed during the questioning. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 255 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure) Interrogation and Confession
     Routine traffic stops which occur on the open road in view of passersby, and which do not result in custodial interrogation, do not require Miranda warnings. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 255 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure) Arrest and Custody
      A person who is stopped for a routine traffic offense is not in custody for purposes of Miranda warnings. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 255 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Criminal Law and Procedure) Arrest and Custody; Search and Seizure
      When a motorist, detained at routine traffic stop for a temporary and brief period, was not arrested and was not in custody at the time he was questioned regarding his driverís license, the police questioning at the roadblock was routine questioning, conducted by government agents as part of their roadblock procedure and did not require Miranda warnings. Therefore, based upon the totality of the circumstances, that motorist was not compelled into giving incriminating evidence against himself, his right against self-incrimination was not violated by the roadblock, and the evidence thus obtained will not be suppressed. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 255 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Constitutional Law) Kosrae ) Interpretation; Statutes ) Construction
      Acts of the Kosrae Legislature are presumed to be constitutional. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 256 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).

Constitutional Law) Kosrae ) Interpretation; Statutes ) Construction
      Courts should avoid, where possible, selecting interpretations of a statute which may bring into doubt the constitutionality of that statute. Accordingly, a defendant is burdened with a high standard
 
[11 FSM Intrm. 252]

of proof in establishing the unconstitutionality of a state law. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 256 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).

Constitutional Law) Kosrae ) Legislative Powers
      The power of the legislature is to decide what the law shall be, to determine public policy and to frame the laws to reflect that public policy. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 256 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).

Constitutional Law) Kosrae ) Interpretation
A practice which has been engaged in by a government for a significant period of time is entitled to great weight in establishing the constitutionality of that practice. Thus, when the licensing of vehicle operators and that the license be in the immediate possession of the driver has been required for at nearly forty years, this significant period of time and therefore the licensing and possession requirement is entitled to great weight in establishing the constitutionality of that practice. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 256 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Constitutional Law) Kosrae; Criminal Law ) Interrogation and Confession; Search and Seizure
     The requirements that a personís driverís license be in the immediate possession of the operator, and that the operator display his license to a police officer upon demand do not violate the Kosrae Constitution. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 11 FSM Intrm. 249, 257 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).

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COURTíS OPINION

ALIKSA B. ALIKSA, Associate Justice:

     Pursuant to Court Order, the hearing on the Defendantís Motion to Suppress Evidence was re-opened. The re-opened hearing on the Defendantís Motion to Suppress Evidence was held on November 12, 2002 at 9 am. Paliknoa Welly, State Prosecutor, appeared for the State. Defendant was represented by Paul Vignos, Legislative Counsel. The following witnesses testified at the hearing: Officer Tulensru Sigrah, Officer Clarence Alokoa and Defendant Senator Steven J. Sigrah. Consistent with this Courtís previous ruling, the State had the burden of proof in the hearing. This Courtís Order Denying Motion to Suppress Evidence, entered on September 16, 2002, is hereby amended as follows.

      Based upon the evidence presented at the hearing, I found the following facts. On July 26, 2001, Defendant was driving a vehicle to attend a Legislative committee meeting at the Kosrae State Legislature Building in Tofol. Defendant was stopped at a roadblock where the police officers checked each motorist for a valid driverís license and valid vehicle registration. The roadblock was conducted for the purpose of checking driverís license of the vehicle driver and the registration of the vehicle. The roadblock was conducted in the public interest to ensure that an operator of a vehicle is properly qualified to drive by his driverís license. The roadblock was also conducted in the public interest to ensure that each vehicle has been registered with the State in compliance with statutory safety requirements.

     When the Defendant stopped at the roadblock, Officer Sigrah asked to see the Defendantís driverís license. Defendant admitted that he did not have his driverís license on his person. Defendant, at that time, did not tell Officer Sigrah that he was on his way to a legislative committee meeting. Officer Sigrah then issued the Defendant a citation for the offense of Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702, unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle without possessing a valid driverís license. Following issuance of the citation to the Defendant, the Defendant stated to Officer Sigrah that he was

[11 FSM Intrm. 253]

on his way to a legislative committee meeting. Defendant testified that he hoped that Officer Sigrah would then take back the citation. Officer Sigrah did not. Following issuance of the citation to Defendant, he then continued his travel to the Legislature.

       In his Motion, Defendant seeks to exclude all evidence obtained at the roadblock on the basis of immunity, pursuant to the Kosrae State Constitution, Article IV, Section 8, that the roadblock and stop of the Defendant was not based on probable cause, and that the roadblock and request for his driverís license violated the Defendantís right to self-incrimination. On that basis, the Defendant also seeks to have the Court declare Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702 unconstitutional on the basis that it violates the Constitutional protection against self-incrimination. Plaintiff opposes the Defendantís Motion. Each ground for Defendantís Motion is addressed in turn.

1. Senatorial Immunity under Kosrae State Constitution, Article IV, Section 8.

     A Senator of the Kosrae State Legislature is privileged from arrest under certain circumstances. The Kosrae State Constitution, Article IV, Section 8 provides that: "Senators are, in all cases except felony or breach of peace, privileged from arrest during their attendance at sessions or committee meetings of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same."

      It is undisputed that on July 26, 2001, at the time the Defendant approached the roadblock and was issued a citation by Officer Tulensru, that the Defendant was going to a committee meeting of the Kosrae State Legislature. Consequently, this Court must examine the actions of the Plaintiff at the roadblock and determine whether those actions amounted to an arrest of the Defendant.

      The term "arrest" is not defined anywhere in the Kosrae State Code. When an arrest occurs will depend on the facts of each case. Richard B. McNamara, Constitutional Limitations on Criminal Procedure ß 4.02 (1982). The FSM Supreme Court has held that a person should be considered "arrested" when oneís freedom of movement is substantially restricted or controlled by a police officer exercising official authority, based upon the officerís suspicion that the detained persons may be or may have been involved in commission of a crime. FSM v. Edward, 3 FSM Intrm. 224 (Pon. 1987). The validity of an arrest is judged by an objective standard, instead of accepting the personal motives of the police officer. Factors which may be considered include display of a weapon by a police officer, threatening presence of several officers or use of language by a police officer indicating compliance is required. McNamara, supra, ß 4.02.

      Defendant argued that he was detained by the police officers at the roadblock, and that pursuant to 12 F.S.M.C. Section 101(1), he was "arrested." The FSM Code, Title 12, Section 101(1) defines the term "arrest" to mean placing any person under any form of detention by legal authority.

      The Court has carefully considered the facts of this case and concludes that in this case, the brief delay of the Defendant at the roadblock for the purpose of requesting his driverís license and vehicle registration was not an arrest. See FSM v. Edward, 3 FSM Intrm. 224, 232 (Pon. 1987). This brief delay did not amount to detention of the Defendant. The Defendantís freedom of movement was not substantially restricted or controlled when the Defendant stopped at the roadblock and was issued a citation. There was no display of weapon by the police officer, there was no threatening presence or language by the police officers who conducted the roadblock. Based upon an objective standard, under these circumstances, the Defendant was not arrested when he stopped at the roadblock and issued a citation.

     There has been no violation of the Kosrae State Constitution, Article IV, Section 8. The evidence obtained at the roadblock was not obtained in violation of Defendantís Senatorial Immunity.

[11 FSM Intrm. 254]

Accordingly, suppression of the evidence obtained at the roadblock is not required on this basis.

II. Roadblock and Stop of Defendant Was Not Based upon Probable Cause.

      The Kosrae State Constitution, Article II, Section 1(d) protects persons against unreasonable search, seizure or invasion of privacy, without a warrant based upon probable cause. Defendant argues that he was subjected to an unreasonable search, without probable cause.

      On July 26, 2001, the Kosrae State Police Department conducted a roadblock to check motorists for possession of a valid driverís license and a valid vehicle registration. Every vehicle traveling on that road was stopped at the roadblock and checked for those documents. Officer Sigrah and other Kosrae State Police Officers were exercising official authority in conducting the roadblock, and in questioning the Defendant. The Defendantís approach to the roadblock did not create any suspicion that the Defendant had committed any crime, since every vehicle on the road was being stopped at the roadblock.

     The constitutionality of a roadblock conducted as a traffic checkpoint has not yet been addressed in any reported decision by our Nationís courts. In the United States, traffic checkpoints are generally found to be constitutional without any requirement for a warrant. Stopping of motorist on a public road is reasonable, even if there is no particularized suspicion of crime. See 68 Am. Jur. 2d Searches and Seizures ß 90, at 704 (2000). However, police roadblocks must be designed to advance a specific purpose, such as eradication of drunken driving. Id. Furthermore, the Court must determine whether the roadblock was reasonable, through consideration of several factors: the importance of the stateís interest served by the roadblock; the effectiveness of the roadblock in advancing public interest, and the degree to which the roadblock interferes with the motorist. Id.

      Here, the Kosrae State Police Department conducted a roadblock on July 26, 2001. The purpose of the roadblock was to check motorists for valid driverís licenses and vehicle registrations. Therefore, the roadblock was designed to advance a specific state and public interest of assuring that drivers of vehicles are properly licensed to drive the vehicle, and to assure that the vehicle being driven meets minimum safety standards by being registered with the Kosrae State Police Department. The roadblock addressed problems which were associated with the persons stopped at the roadblock.

      This Court finds that the roadblock conducted by the Kosrae State Police Department on July 26, 2001, was designed to advance a specific public interest. The roadblock was effective in advancing the public interest. The motorists were detained for a temporary and brief period of time, therefore the roadblock interfered with the motorists only to a minimal degree. Based upon these factors, the roadblock was therefore reasonable. Accordingly, a warrant was not required for the Kosrae State Police to conduct the roadblock. Likewise, a warrant was not required for the Kosrae State Police Department to stop the Defendant at the roadblock.

      I conclude that the roadblock did not violate the Kosrae State Constitution, Article II, Section 1(d). I also conclude that stopping of the Defendant at the roadblock did not violate the Kosrae State Constitution, Article II, Section 1(d). The evidence obtained at the roadblock was not obtained in violation of the requirement for warrant based upon probable cause. Accordingly, suppression of the evidence obtained at the roadblock is not required on this basis.

III. Roadblock and Request for Defendantís Driverís License Violated Defendantís Right to Self Incrimination.

      Defendant argues that the roadblock and request for the Defendantís driverís license violated the

[11 FSM Intrm. 255]

Defendantís right to self incrimination. The Kosrae State Constitution, Article II, Section 1(f) provides that a person may not be compelled to give evidence that may be used against him in a criminal case. Defendant argues that he was compelled to answer the Police Officer Sigrah, who requested to see the Defendantís driverís license at the roadblock.

      The Kosrae State Constitution protects persons from being forced into giving evidence which may incriminate him or her. Article II, Section 1(f) states that: "A person may not be compelled to give evidence that may be used against him in a criminal case."

      Here, Defendant argues that he was compelled to answer Police Officer Sigrah that he did not possess a driverís license and that this information was then used against him in a criminal case. At the time when Officer Sigrah questioned the Defendant regarding his driverís license, there was no suspicion that the Defendant had committed any crime. Defendant was questioned in a public place: on a public road and in public view.

       A statement made by a defendant may be used as evidence against him only if the statement was made voluntarily. In deciding whether a statement was made voluntarily, the Court will consider the totality of the circumstances. FSM v. Edward, 3 FSM Intrm. 224 (Pon. 1987). The protection against self-incrimination also requires the giving of the so-called "Miranda" warnings to the accused, prior to questioning of the accused. The "Miranda" warnings include statements made by the police officers to an accused regarding the accusedís right to remain silent and right to legal counsel, free of charge.

       However, routine questioning by government agents as part of procedure does not require Miranda warnings. For example, questioning by immigration and customs agents as part of border control procedure does not require Miranda warnings. Likewise, questioning by marine patrol during a routine stop to inspect a vessel does not require Miranda warnings. The purpose of this type of procedural questioning is not to compel the person being questioned to incriminate himself. The government agents cannot be held to foresee that criminal liability of the subject might be exposed during the questioning. See 2 William E. Ringel, Searches and Seizures, Arrests and Confessions ß 26.5(c) (2d ed. 1985). Further, routine traffic stops which occur on the open road in view of passersby, and which do not result in custodial interrogation, do not require Miranda warnings. Id. ß 27.3(a)(3). A person who is stopped for a routine traffic offense is not in custody for purposes of Miranda warnings. Richard B. McNamara, Constitutional Limitations on Criminal Procedure ß 5.09 (1982 & Supp. 1997).

       The roadblock conducted by Kosrae State Police on July 26, 2001 was a routine traffic stop for motorists. This Court has already concluded that the Defendant was not arrested and was not in custody at the time he was questioned at the roadblock regarding his driverís license. The motorists, including the Defendant, were detained at the traffic stop for a temporary and brief period. The request to see Defendantís driverís license, made by the Kosrae State Police at the roadblock was routine questioning, conducted by government agents as part of their roadblock procedure. This questioning did not require Miranda warnings. Therefore, I conclude, based upon the totality of the circumstances, that the Defendant was not compelled into giving incriminating evidence against himself, in violation of the Kosrae State Constitution, Article II, Section 1(f). The Defendantís right against self-incrimination was not violated by the roadblock, nor by the request made by the Kosrae State Police Officers at the roadblock to see Defendantís driverís license. Accordingly, suppression of the evidence obtained at the roadblock is not required on this basis.

[11 FSM Intrm. 256]

IV. Constitutionality of Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702.

      Defendant has asked this Court to declare Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702 unconstitutional on the basis that provision violates the Defendantís rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and against being compelled to give evidence that may be used against him in a criminal case. See Kos. Const. art. II, ßß 1(d), 1(f). Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702 provides:

Section 13.702. Unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle.

     (1) Unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle is operating a motor vehicle on a road without possessing a valid license or learner's permit or operating a motor vehicle on a road in violation of Sections 17.203, 17.205 or 17.206.

     (2) To possess a valid license or learnerís permit means that every driver shall have his or her driverís license or learnerís permit, which must be fully legible with no portion of such license or permit faded, altered, mutilated, or defaced in his or her immediate possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle and shall display the same upon the demand of a law enforcement officer.

     (3) Unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle is a category 4 misdemeanor.

Defendant argues that the statute allows the police to ask questions of the Defendant, when answered, may incriminate Defendant. Specifically, Defendant argued that if he is asked for his driverís license by a police officer, and answers in the negative, that answer may incriminate the Defendant.

      Acts of the Kosrae State Legislature are presumed to be constitutional. Cornelius v. Kosrae, 8 FSM Intrm. 345 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1998). Courts should avoid, where possible, selecting interpretations of a statute which may bring into doubt the constitutionality of that statute. In re Otokichy, 1 FSM Intrm. 183 (App. 1982); Cornelius v. Kosrae, 8 FSM Intrm. 345 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1998). Accordingly, the movant, the Defendant, is burdened with a high standard of proof in establishing the unconstitutionality of a state law. Siba v. Sigrah, 4 FSM Intrm. 329 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1990).

     This Court has carefully examined Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702. The statute was enacted in the interest of public safety, to require that every person who operates a motor vehicle on a road must possess a valid driverís license or learnerís permit. The purpose of the license or permit requirement is to ensure that operators of vehicles on roads have satisfied physical and mental qualifications for the operation of a motor vehicle. Public policy supports the licensing requirements, in order to provide safety on roads to other persons using the roads: other vehicle operators and their passengers; pedestrians; and children playing in the road.

     The power of the legislature is to decide what the law shall be, to determine public policy and to frame the laws to reflect that public policy. Siba v. Sigrah, 4 FSM Intrm. 329 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1990). Here, the Kosrae State Legislature has determined that public policy requires licensing of vehicle drivers, and has enacted Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702 to reflect that policy. This policy has been in existence for many years. The Kosrae State Code, 1985 version contains the licensing requirement in Section 13.702. The licensing of vehicle operators has been required since at least 1966. The Trust Territory Code required the licensing of vehicle operators and that the operator have the license in his immediate possession at all times when driving a vehicle. Trust Territory Code, Chapter 13, Section 812. A practice which has been engaged in by a government for a significant period of time is entitled to great weight in establishing the constitutionality of that practice. Siba v. Sigrah, 4 FSM Intrm. 329 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1990). Here, the licensing of vehicle operators and that the license be in the immediate possession of the driver has been required for nearly forty years. This is a significant period of time and therefore the licensing and possession requirement is entitled to great weight in establishing the constitutionality of that practice.

[11 FSM Intrm. 257]

     This Court has also reviewed the licensing requirements and related criminal offenses in other jurisdictions. In the States of Chuuk and Yap, persons must be licensed to operate a motor vehicle, and are required to have the license in his or her immediate possession at all time when driving a motor vehicle. See Chk. S.L. No. 3-95-18, ßß 301, 310; 25 Y.S.C. ßß 301, 309.

     This Court has also looked to jurisdictions outside of the Federated States of Micronesia. The State of Hawaii, Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 286-116 provides:

License, insurance identification card, possession, exhibition.

(a) Every licensee shall have a valid driverís license in the licenseeís immediate possession at all time . . . when operating a motor vehicle, and shall display the same upon demand of a police officer. . . . Every police officer or law enforcement officer when stopping a vehicle or inspecting a vehicle for any reason shall demand that the driver or owner display the driverís or ownerís driverís license and insurance identification card.

Haw. Rev. Stat. ß 286-117 (Vol. 5, Supp. 1992). Accordingly, in the State of Hawaii, similar licensing requirements are imposed: that the operator have a valid driverís license; that the operator have the driverís license in his immediate possession at all times when operating a vehicle; and that the operator of a vehicle display his driverís license to a police officer upon demand. The language and requirements of Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702 are substantially similar to the language and requirements of Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 286-117.

      In the United States, a police officerís demand for a driverís license made at a roadblock stop of all cars is permissible as not violative of the Constitution. In the case of Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 99 S. Ct. 1391, 59 L. Ed. 2d 660 (1979), the United States Supreme Court held that a random stop of a vehicle for the sole purpose of checking driverís license and registration did violate the Constitution. The Court further stated that questioning of all oncoming traffic at a roadblock stop for driverís license and vehicle registration would not be unreasonable and would not violate the Constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Id. at 663, 99 S. Ct. at 1401, 59 L. Ed. 2d at 673-74.

      I conclude that Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702 does not violate the Kosrae State Constitution. The Defendant has not met the high standard of proof in establishing the unconstitutionality of a state law. The statute was enacted to implement public policy to protect the traveling public, within the authority of the Kosrae State Legislature. The requirements that a personís driverís license be in the immediate possession of the operator, and that the operator display his license to a police officer upon demand do not violate the Constitution. Kosrae State Code, Section 13.702 does not violate the Kosrae State Constitution, and therefore Defendantís request that this Court declare Section 13.702 unconstitutional is denied.

V. Conclusion.

     Defendantís Motion to Suppress Evidence is denied. This matter is set for trial on November 26, 2002 at 9 am.

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