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Traffic Stop – Probable Cause – Crossing Fog Line

Kenosha County v. Jodi A. Braune, 2010AP834, District 2, 3/9/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Braune: Theodore B. Kmiec, III; case activity

¶7        We hold that under the plain language of Wis. Stat. § 346.13(3), Braune’s deviation over the fog line was sufficient to establish probable cause that Braune committed a traffic violation.  When the deputy observed Braune’s conduct, he had probable cause that Braune did not drive “in the lane designated.”  See § 346.13(3).  Indeed, Braune drove completely across the outside of the lane with the right side of her vehicle.  The deputy’s personal observation provided him with probable cause—that is, “the ‘quantum of evidence which would lead a reasonable police officer to believe’ that a traffic violation has occurred.”  Popke, 317 Wis. 2d 118, ¶14 (citation omitted).  Thus, the deputy’s stop of Braune was constitutionally permissible.[3]

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