United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
BENSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment.
[Dkt. 28]. The motion has been fully briefed by both parties.
The Court finds oral argument unnecessary. Based upon the
parties' written arguments and on the relevant facts and
the law, the Court enters this Memorandum Decision and Order.
night of August 7, 2015, Plaintiff, Jonathan Andy Boyer was
driving on Interstate 15 when one of the tires on his car
became flat. [Dkt. 28 ¶2]. Mr. Boyer pulled over to the
side of the freeway and called the Utah Highway patrol for
assistance. [Id. at ¶5]. He told dispatch that
he was located near 5300 South on I-15. [Id. at
¶6]. Defendant, Trooper Chad Carter, went to that
location to assist him but Mr. Boyer was not in the vicinity.
He eventually located Mr. Boyer in his car off the side of
I-15 near 8600 South. He pulled behind the car, which was
elevated by a jack, and turned on his rear-facing lights.
[Id. at ¶10]. It was about eleven o'clock
at night and lightly raining. The police car dashcam video of
the encounter which is the subject of this action, was
submitted and has been viewed by the Court.
Trooper Carter approached the car, Mr. Boyer rolled down his
window and told him that he needed help changing his tire.
[Id. at ¶11]. He said he did not have the right
tools so Trooper Carter offered to let him use his.
[Id. at ¶12]. Mr. Boyer said that he told
dispatch he was at 5300 South but that he actually was not
sure where he was. He said he and his wife, who was in the
passenger seat, were on their way home from the Desert Edge
Brewery. [Id. at ¶13]. As Trooper Carter, a
certified drug recognition expert, talked to Mr. Boyer, he
noticed that his eyes were blood shot and when he rolled down
his window, he smelled what the trooper believed was an odor
of an alcoholic beverage. [Id. at ¶14, 20].
When Trooper Carter told Mr. Boyer that he smelled like
alcohol, Mr. Boyer responded, “Oh, I do?”
[Id. at ¶28].
Carter instructed Mr. Boyer to move his car farther away from
the concrete wall on the side of the freeway to allow
adequate room to change the tire. [Id. at ¶23].
Mr. Boyer did so without first removing the jack which was
under the passenger side of the vehicle, causing the car to
fall from its perch. Trooper Carter noticed that Mr. Boyer
did in fact have the tools for changing tires that came with
the car. As he changed the tire using Trooper Carter's
tools, the trooper became concerned about Mr. Boyer's
coordination and faculties. For instance, he began putting
the spare tire on backward until Trooper Carter corrected
him. [Id. at ¶ 24]. His speech was somewhat
slow and sounded slurred. After the tire was changed, Mr.
Boyer put the flat tire in his trunk. Trooper Carter asked to
see Mr. Boyer's drivers license because by that time he
was suspicious that Mr. Boyer may be impaired. [Id.
at ¶¶25-26]. Trooper Carter testified at his
deposition about some of the indications upon which he based
his suspicion that Mr. Boyer may have been under the
A. [He] had poor coordination. It seemed too difficult for
him to change the tire.
Q. Explain that for me. What do you mean?
A. First off, I noted that he had the tool kit that came with
the car, he had the tire iron that came with the car, but he
told me that it was the wrong size or something. When he used
my star wrench, my star wrench has four sockets on it, each a
different size. He tried each socket twice before he found
the correct size. So he tried one size, tried the next size,
tried the next size, tried the next size. Do you know what I
Finally he found the correct socket, but every time he tried
to take off the next lug nut he would hit the rubber of the
wheel, of the tire. He would hit the hub cap. He would make
contact with the lug nut but miss; you know what I mean? It
took him several tries to even get the wrench onto the lug
nut properly before he was able to take it off. That happened
with all of the lug nuts. After that - Q. Do you remember how
many lug nuts there were?
A. I don't. Probably five. After that he removed the flat
tire and went to put the spare tire on but he started putting
it on backwards. And he even started tightening one of the
lug nuts on the hold before I told him that it was on
backwards, and then he turned it around and put it back on.
He had poor coordination in that similar manner throughout
the entire stop I had with him.
At one point he - when I arrived on scene he had like the
jack that came with the car up underneath the car. And it was
supporting some of the car's weight, and then there
wasn't enough room between the car and the concrete wall
for my star wrench to fit in there. So I told him that he had
to make more room for that by reversing the car and backing
further away from the wall. I don't think I had ever seen
that the jack was under the car at that point. I think he had
told me but I had forgotten. He reversed with the jack still
under and the car kind of fell down.
[Id. at ¶29].
Trooper Carter's observance of Mr. Boyer's slurred
speech, Mr. Boyer testified at his deposition that he does
have a speech impediment for which he has received speech
therapy in the past. At his deposition, he stated, “I
might sound like I have a frog in my throat or possibly that
I need ...