Wyoming court upholds DUI arrest on reservation
A non-Indian man who was detained by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer before being arrested for drunk driving was lawfully arrested, the Wyoming Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

A Fremont County sheriff's deputy was in pursuit of David R. Colyer but a BIA officer got to him first. The stop occurred on the Wind River Reservation.

Although Colyer admitted he was drinking and a portable test confirmed alcohol in his system, he refused to submit to a chemical test of his blood alcohol content. For that reason, the state Department of Transportation suspended his license.

Colyer challenged his arrest by the deputy and questioned the authority of the BIA officer to detain him. The court acknowledged jurisdictional issues in Indian Country but said the case boiled down to something more simple.

"Despite the jurisdictional olio on the reservation, the law is clear that the appropriate action to be taken in circumstances such as those presented in this case is for the reservation officer to detain the appellant for formal arrest by a state officer, " the court said in the unanimous opinion. "That is what happened."

The Wind River Reservation is home to the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

Get the Story:
Court upholds DUI arrest on reservation (The Casper Star-Tribune 3/26)

Wyoming Supreme Court Decision:
Colyer v. Wyoming (March 25, 2009)