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Early morning, weaving, failing to go straight to Eagle = reasonable suspicion

State v. Dennis L. Zemanovic, 2017AP536-CR, 9/20/17, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

But it’s a close call. (¶10).

Aware that the vehicle Zemanovic was operating was registered to an address in Eagle, the arresting officer became suspicious when the driver took a route he believed to be “weird” for someone who lived in Eagle. While the officer acknowledged on cross-examination that the route Zemanovic took “was, in fact, on the way to … the Village of Eagle,” the circuit court found that “it was not the most direct route he could have gone.” In light of the officer’s direct examination testimony that he “thought it kind of weird that [Zemanovic] turned on Henry because it goes into the lake, it doesn’t go to Eagle,” we conclude the court did not clearly err with its finding at the hearing that the route Zemanovic took to Eagle was “not the most direct route” he could have taken. This raised some initial suspicion in the officer that something might be amiss with Zemanovic, prompting the officer to turn his vehicle around and attempt to locate Zemanovic again.

After locating Zemanovic, the officer observed his vehicle, over a period of one minute and forty-five seconds, veering left and right within its lane, touching the white fog line and even traveling on it and “actually riding the shoulder for a bit.” Our own review of the video is consistent with the officer’s testimony, as we observed multiple instances of movement by Zemanovic’s vehicle which could be characterized as slow weaving within its lane, including the right side tires riding on the white fog line at least once.

Furthermore, the officer made these observations around 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday night/Sunday morning,2 a time of day and day of the week that lends to the suspicion that Zemanovic may have been drinking intoxicants in an amount greater than one might consume at other times of day or on other days of the week.

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