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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
February 18, 2014

2014 CO 12. No. 11SC720. Grassi v. People.
Fellow Officer Rule—Probable Cause—CRS § 42-4-1301.1.

In this suppression matter, the Supreme Court considered whether the police possessed probable cause,pursuant to the fellow officer rule,to draw blood from an unconscious driver following a motor vehicle accident, even though the officer who actually ordered the blood draws lacked independent probable cause. The Court held that the fellow officer rule imputes information that the police possesses to an individual officer who effects a search or arrest if (1) that officer acts pursuant to a coordinated investigation, and (2) the police possesses the information at the time of the search or arrest. Because the record here reflects that the police as a whole, pursuant to a coordinated investigation, possessed probable cause to believe that defendant had committed an alcohol-related offense at the time of the blood draws, the fellow officer rule imputed that probable cause to the officer who ordered the blood draws. Therefore, no Fourth Amendment violation occurred. The Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions