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Arrest — Probable Cause — OWI

State v. Cara A. Erickson, 2003 WI App 43

Issue/Holding: The following facts established probable cause to arrest, hence to take a warrantless blood draw, for OWI:

¶15. In this case, the officer knew the following information when he ordered the blood draw. At about 5:40 a.m. on August 27, 2000, less than two hours prior to the blood draw, Erickson crashed her pickup truck into a vehicle with sufficient force to set the vehicle on fire. One occupant in the vehicle was killed and the other was seriously injured. Erickson told the officer she remembered waking up and crashing into the vehicle. Erickson said she was returning home from dropping off a friend after a party. While at the scene, Erickson told the officer that she had drunk one beer around 1:00 a.m., but she later told medical personnel she had had three beers, the last one at 1:00 a.m. In addition, while standing about three to four feet from Erickson at the scene, the officer did not smell an odor of intoxicants. However, three emergency medical technicians who treated Erickson at the scene and transported her to the hospital reported that they smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Erickson.


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