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Arrest – Probable Cause – OWI

Waukesha County v. Eric D. Smith, 2008 WI 23, affirming unpublished decision
For Smith: Kirk B. Obear

Issue/Holding:

¶36 We conclude that under the circumstances of the present case, the Deputy’s knowledge at the time of the arrest would lead a reasonable law enforcement officer to believe that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. At the time of the arrest, the Deputy knew that the defendant had been driving well in excess of the speed limit late at night on a two-lane highway; that the defendant delayed pulling over after the deputy activated his emergency lights; that the defendant had twice driven across the centerline before pulling over; that the defendant had an odor of alcohol on his breath; that the defendant had admitted to consuming alcohol over a period of more than ten hours ending just prior to his encounter with the deputy; and that the defendant had supplied inconsistent and equivocal information regarding the amount of alcohol that he had consumed during that period of time. The state has met its burden of presenting evidence sufficient to establish that the Deputy had probable cause to believe that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant and had probable cause to arrest him for this offense.

 

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