from the Superior Court, Third Judicial District, Anchorage,
Michael R. Spaan, Judge. Trial Court No. 3AN-14-1174 CR
Appearances: Doug Miller, Law Office of Douglas S. Miller,
Anchorage, for the Appellant.
Terisia K. Chleborad, Assistant Attorney General, Office of
Criminal Appeals, Anchorage, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney
General, Juneau, for the Appellee.
Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, and Allard and Wollenberg,
evening of February 2, 2014, an Anchorage police officer saw
a vehicle "fishtail" as the driver made a turn from
Arctic Boulevard east onto Fireweed Lane. As the driver made
the turn, the rear end of the vehicle slid into the adjacent
lane. The driver immediately corrected the vehicle, but the
officer decided to make a traffic stop.
Snook, a convicted felon, was a passenger in this vehicle.
During the traffic stop, the officer discovered that Snook
was in possession of a concealable firearm and metal
knuckles. In addition, Snook gave a false name to the
on this incident, Snook was charged with - and ultimately
convicted of - third- and fourth-degree weapons misconduct,
as well as giving false information to a police officer.
trial, Snook's attorney filed a motion arguing that the
traffic stop was unlawful, and that therefore the evidence
against Snook should be suppressed. The superior court denied
this motion, and Snook renews his claim on appeal.
superior court found that the traffic stop was justified
under § 09.22.030.B of the Anchorage Municipal Code.
This ordinance reads:
Starting Parked or Stopped Vehicle.
B. No person may accelerate a vehicle which is stopped,
standing or parked on or along a street, or which is entering
a street, so rapidly as to unnecessarily cause the tires to
squeal or spin on the street, or on the surface on which the
vehicle is standing immediately before it enters the street,
or in a manner which causes the driver to lose control of the
vehicle or causes the vehicle to "fishtail."
superior court acknowledged that the State presented no
evidence that the vehicle accelerated from a "stopped,
standing, or parked" position. However, the superior
court ruled that when the driver of the vehicle made the turn
from Arctic Boulevard onto Fireweed Lane, the driver
"entered a street" (i. e., Fireweed Lane)
within the meaning of ...