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Traffic stop was lawfully extended

State v. John R. Anker, 2020AP1218-CR, District 4, 5/13/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The officer who stopped Anker because his car was missing a license plate had sufficient reason to extend the stop by asking Anker to do field sobriety tests.

¶15     The record shows that the extension of Anker’s stop was justified by specific, articulable facts that would cause a reasonable officer, in light of his or her experience and training, to suspect that Anker may have been operating while intoxicated. Those facts include: Anker’s admission of recent alcohol consumption, Anker’s “glossy and bloodshot eyes,” the “strong odor of intoxicants” coming from Anker’s vehicle, Anker’s “slow and slurred” speech, Anker’s two previous OWI offenses, and the investigating officer’s own training and experience. Although any one of these facts on its own might be insufficient to support reasonable suspicion, taken together they are indicia of possible intoxicated driving. …. Here, “[t]he building blocks of fact accumulate” such that the totality of the circumstances justified [Officer] Anderson’s extension of the traffic stop for the purpose of initiating an OWI investigation by administering field sobriety testing. [State v.] Waldner, 206 Wis. 2d [51,] 58[, 556 N.W.2d 681 (1996)].

Anker’s argument that the officer did not observe other indicia of intoxication (bad driving, lack of dexterity, inability to understand the officer) gets him nowhere, of course, for there’s no bright-line rule or sine qua non factor governing what’s necessary to suspect impaired driving. (¶¶16-17).

Anker also complains that the jury shouldn’t have heard evidence that he refused to consent to a warrantless blood draw. The court is bound to reject that claim because of State v. Levanduski, 2020 WI App 53, 393 Wis. 2d 674, 948 N.W.2d 411, though the judge writing this opinion has said elsewhere (in a concurrence to a summary disposition NOT citable for persuasive authority) that Levanduski is wrongly decided. (¶¶21-24 & n.4).

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