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OWI stop reasonable based on anonymous tip and confirmed veering over fog line

State v. Sandra Biancardi, 2013AP1351, District 2, 10/30/13 (1-judge, ineligible for publication); case activity

Biancardi was convicted of OWI.  On appeal she argued that police unlawfully stopped her based on an uncorroborated, anonymous tip contrary to Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983).  The court of appeals, citing State v. Post, 2007 WI 60, ¶24, 301 Wis. 2d 1, 733 N.W.2d 634 (“driving need not be illegal in order to give rise to reasonable suspicion”), ruled against her.  The court explained:

¶16 . . . [I]n this case, there is more than just an anonymous tipster. The caller was in the suspicious car itself and reported fearing for his life. He was able to call out mile markers to specifically indicate the vehicle’s location on the interstate. The SUV Guderski spotted was in the area the caller specified, traveling in the same direction, and was the specified color and make. Guderski then independently observed the driver go over the fog line more than once. Weighing the totality of the circumstances, Guderski had the reasonable suspicion necessary to conduct a traffic stop.

Seems there’s a long line of similar cases.  Here are a few: State v. Rutzinski, 2001 WI 22, 241 Wis. 2d 729, 623 N.W.2d 516 (prior On Point post here) and; for example, State v. Potter, 2013 WI App 30, 346 Wis. 2d 281, 827 N.W.2d 930; State v. Frank, 2011 AP2306   (prior On Point post here), and City of Sheboygan Falls v. John D. Prinsen, 2011AP700 (prior On Point post here).

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