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OWI — probable cause to arrest

State v. Amanda Kratochwill, 2012AP2076-CR, District 4, 2/14/13; court of appeals decision (1-judge; ineligible for publication); case activity

Police  had probable cause to arrest Kratochwill for OWI where:

  • Car was stopped for speeding (¶2);
  • Upon  approaching the car the officer noted a strong smell of intoxicants and an open beer in the front passenger cup holder (¶2);
  • When told she was speeding, Kratochwill did not provide a response, but looked nervous and had glassy eyes and “a strong odor of intoxicants emanating from her person” (¶3);
  • Kratochwill said she had consumed three to four beers in a five-hour span (¶5);
  • Kratochwill was given field sobriety tests—namely, the horizontal-gaze-nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn, and one-leg-stand tests—and the officer observed six out of six clues on the HGN test, one out of eight clues on the walk-and-turn test, and two out of four clues during the one-leg-stand test (¶6); and
  • Two preliminary breath tests resulted in a reading of 0.175 (¶7).

Kratochwill’s attack on the officer’s purported “deviation” from his training about the HGN clues is rejected as both not a deviation at all (¶13) and as unimportant because even without her field sobriety test performance there was probable cause to arrest. (¶14).

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