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Arrest — Probable Cause — OWI

State v. James L. Larson, 2003 WI App 150
For Larson: Rex Anderegg


¶16. To determine if probable cause exists, the court must consider whether “the totality of the circumstances within the arresting officer’s knowledge at the time of the arrest would lead a reasonable police officer to believe … that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.” State v. Nordness, 128 Wis. 2d 15, 35, 381 N.W.2d 300 (1986). At the time of his arrival, Zuhlke knew only that two tipsters had called dispatch, alleging that the driver of the maroon and silver truck parked outside the apartment building was driving while intoxicated. Zuhlke had not yet smelled the odor of intoxicants on Larson’s breath, detected his slurred speech, or even obtained his concession that he had been driving the maroon and silver truck. Consequently, we do not believe that it can be reasonably maintained that at the moment Zuhlke put his foot inside the doorway he had probable cause to arrest Larson.


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