It's not often a DWI case makes it all the way to the State Supreme Court. But there's one being heard by Justices this week in Vermillion and ironically it's the state that's appealing.
In the early morning hours of September of 2011, Brian Amick was stopped by a Jerauld County Deputy Sheriff because he didn't see Amick's rear license plate, even though a temporary one was displayed.
During the stop the arresting officer found an open container.
"What does he do when he approaches the vehicle, first thing he does, he shines the flashlight in the back seat, he sees the beer, he's expanded the scope of the search of the stop," Amick's attorney John Steele said.
Amick admitted he had been drinking, but in circuit court Amick's lawyers argued that the beer never should have been allowed as evidence, and that Amick should not have been arrested for DUI because he had the proper plates on his newly purchased pick-up and the deputy should have let him go.
A circuit judge agreed and tossed the evidence.
The state is now asking the Justices to reverse the ruling because the officer had a reason to make the stop and make the arrest.
"Once he went forward he was going to see that beer, because he was going to shine his flashlight into the back door of the pickup if only to do so for his own safety," assistant Attorney General Craig Eichstadt said.
But Amick's attorney says his client had the temporary license plate and the deputy didn't look.
"He did not make an effort to look for the plate before he approached the vehicle," Steele said.
Prosecutors argue there were people sitting in the bed of the truck making it tough to see.
"We would strongly disagree with the basic premise of Mr. Steele that the officer was not looking for the plate. I think he testified that he was but there were several other things going on," Eichstadt said.
The justices will make a ruling on the case at a later date.