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Late-night driving without lights, straddling two lanes, not stopping when pulled over, smelling of intoxicants, failing FSTs, etc. created probable cause for PBT

City of Sheboygan v. John W. Van Akkeren, 2017AP120, 6/14/17, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Van Akkeren claims the officer who pulled him over did not have the requisite suspicion to administer a preliminary breath test.

The court disagrees.

Here, the circuit court did not err in determining that the undisputed facts demonstrated that when the officer administered the PBT to Van Akkeren, the officer had probable cause to believe he had been operating while under the influence of an intoxicant.

To recap, related to Van Akkeren’s driving, the officer observed Van Akkeren: (1) driving without his headlights on at 1 a.m.—a time of day generally providing greater suspicion that poor driving is caused by intoxication, (2) straddling the line between two lanes while driving; (3) not immediately pulling over when the officer activated his emergency lights, suggesting Van Akkeren’s lack of awareness of his surroundings; and (4) not even turning on his headlights once he became aware of the officer’s presence. When directly interacting with Van Akkeren while Van Akkeren was still seated in his vehicle, the officer observed that Van Akkeren (1) had glossy eyes, (2) had a moderate odor of intoxicants coming from his breath, (3) admitted having consumed “a few” beers, and (4) rolled down the back window of his car when the officer invited him to roll up his front driver’s door window due to the light rain. Further, on each of the field sobriety tests, the officer observed multiple clues of intoxication, helping confirm his suspicion that Van Akkeren was intoxicated.




{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Daniel chapman June 15, 2017, 10:09 am

    Pro se I assume?

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