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Officer had reasonable suspicion to detain driver to perform field sobriety tests (1/18/23 #1)

State v. Kelly A. Monson, 2022AP1438-CR, District 2, 1/18/23 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

There was reasonable suspicion to detain Monson and have her perform field sobriety tests.

Officer Kramer saw Monson’s car stopped in traffic a full vehicle length back from a stop sign, something “out of the ordinary” that “would indicate to a reasonable police officer that something was amiss.” (¶¶2, 15). Monson was “messing around with something in the car”; Kramer first thought the item was a syringe, raising concerns Monson could have been in trouble physically, could have been attempting to inject something, or could have had mechanical issues with her vehicle. (¶15). The “something” was an IID. (¶¶2, 15).

Once Kramer knew Monson was having trouble starting the vehicle with her IID—”a device [Kramer] knew was only placed in vehicles where the owner had already been convicted of an OWI—it was logical that Kramer’s interest was piqued.” (¶15). Indeed, knowing that Monson had an OWI conviction and that her breath was not being accepted by the IID, “Kramer could reasonably believe that Monson may have imbibed something that prevented her from starting up the vehicle and that Monson would drive while impaired if she were finally able to start the ignition.” (¶17).

Topping it off, Kramer had reason to believe Monson had ingested an illegal substance: Monson refused to make eye contact with her while was looking for her insurance and vehicle information; Monson was nervous (claiming she was having an anxiety attack); Monson’s eyes were bloodshot, glassy, and “all over the place,” her speech was slurred and exaggerated, and her teeth were clenched, which Kramer recognized as signs of methamphetamine use. “Taken together, these form significant building blocks of facts leading Kramer to have reasonable suspicion that Monson was driving while impaired.” (¶14).

Monson relies on State v. Hogan, 2015 WI 76, 364 Wis. 2d 167, 868 N.W.2d 124, to no avail, due to the “stark differences” between that case and Monson’s case. “First is the presence of an IID. Next are the building blocks creating reasonable suspicion (the glassy and bloodshot eyes, the anxiety, the slurred speech, and the clenched teeth and exaggerated conduct that indicate drug use) that Kramer observed in Monson. But even more important is the fact that, while supportive building block facts may have been factually present in Hogan, they were not before that trial court.” Here they were. (¶¶18-19).

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