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Hannam v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

June 13, 2014

THOMAS S. HANNAM, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee

Appeal from the District Court, Third Judicial District, Palmer, David Zwink, Judge. Trial Court No. 3PA-11-1268 CR t/w 3PA-12-1492 CI.

Thomas Hannam, Appellant, Pro se, Palmer.

Eric A. Senta, Assistant District Attorney, Palmer, and Michael C. Geraghty, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Hanley, District Court Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 210

ALLARD, Judge.

Thomas S. Hannam pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence. He argues that there was not an adequate factual basis for his guilty plea, and that the district court therefore erred in accepting the plea. For the reasons explained below, we find no merit to this claim and affirm the decision of the district court.

Facts and proceedings

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on May 23, 2011, Alaska State Trooper J. Calhoun stopped Hannam for a traffic violation. During this contact, the trooper observed that Hannam had bloodshot and watery eyes, a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, difficulty forming sentences, a staggering gait, and poor manual dexterity. Hannam failed to complete the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and he declined to participate in any further field sobriety tests.

Hannam was arrested for driving under the influence. He was then transported to the trooper station, where he refused to submit

Page 211

to a breath test. Some time later, at the jail, Hannam took two portable breath tests, and both tests indicated an alcohol level of .000.

The State charged Hannam with driving under the influence,[1] fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon [2] (for possessing a handgun while intoxicated), and refusal to submit to a chemical test.[3] He was also cited for having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.[4]

The case was resolved by a Rule 11 plea agreement. Hannam agreed to plead guilty to driving under the influence, and the State agreed to dismiss the other charges. At the change of plea hearing, the district court judge asked Hannam if he understood that by entering his guilty plea he was admitting to operating a motor vehicle ...


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