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Investigative Stop – Reasonable Suspicion, OWI

Dane County v. Amy Jolene Judd, 2011AP2106, District 4, 7/19/12

court of appeals decision (1-judge, ineligible for publication); case activity

Reasonable suspicion supported temporary stop, State v. Meye, 2010AP336-CR, unpublished slip op. (WI App July 14, 2010) (“odor of intoxicants alone is insufficient to raise reasonable suspicion to make an investigatory stop”), distinguished:

¶7        I disagree that Meye is analogous to the present case.  In Meye, the officer smelled the odor of intoxicants, but was unable to identify whether that odor was emanating from Meye or her companion.  Id., ¶2.  Here, there was no ambiguity as to whom the odor was coming from.  In addition, unlike Meye, Judd admitted that she had driven her car to the residence; Judd admitted to having consumed alcohol earlier; Larson observed that Judd’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy; and it was 2:45 a.m.  The odor of alcohol, admission of drinking earlier, bloodshot glassy eyes, and time of day, in conjunction with Larson’s awareness that Judd had driven her car, were sufficient to provide Larson with reasonable suspicion to believe that Judd had driven her vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.  See, e.g., State v. Lange, 2009 WI 49, ¶32, 317 Wis. 2d 383, 766 N.W.2d 551 (time of night is a relevant consideration for suspicion of impaired driving); State v. Hughes, No. 2011AP647, unpublished slip op. ¶21 (WI App Aug. 25, 2011) (odor of alcohol, admission of drinking, and glassy eyes sufficient to give rise to reasonable suspicion that defendant was driving while intoxicated); In re Wendt, No. 2010AP2416, unpublished slip op. ¶19 (WI App June 23, 2011) (bloodshot and glassy eyes and the odor of alcohol are “obvious and classic” indications of intoxication).  Judd has not cited this court to any authority which supports her claim that a defendant’s ability to walk and speak without apparent impairment is definitive in a reasonable suspicion analysis, negating all other observations of impairment.  Thus, the fact that Judd was able to walk and speak without apparent impairment does not alter my conclusion that there was other evidence before Larson which was sufficient to support a reasonable suspicion that Judd was impaired.

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