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State v. Arlie I. Grenie, 2010AP459-CR, District 4, 9/13/10

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Grenie: John C. Orth; Steven J. House; BiC; Resp.; Reply

Traffic Stop – Blue Lights

Traffic stop for having blue lights lit on front of vehicle, upheld. (§ 347.07(2)(a) bars display of “(a)ny color of light other than white or amber visible from directly in front.”)

¶6        Grenie essentially asks this court to credit testimony by his two witnesses suggesting that the blue lights were “never” operational over the officer’s testimony that he saw the lights lit when Grenie’s Jeep passed him. This I may not do. Rather, I defer to the circuit court’s determination that the officer’s testimony was more credible. See id. In its suppression hearing findings, the circuit court clearly credited the officer’s “unshaken” statements that the blue lights were lit. And, the court specifically stated that it did not “buy” Grenie’s brother’s testimony suggesting that there were no bulbs in the lights. In other respects, the court’s rejection of testimony that the lights were never operational is implied by the court’s explicit reliance on the officer’s testimony. See Derr v. Derr, 2005 WI App 63, ¶40, 280 Wis. 2d 681, 696 N.W.2d 170 (when an express factual finding is not made, appellate courts normally assume the circuit court made findings in a manner that supports its final decision).

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