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Police had reasonable suspicion to detain and probable cause to administer PBT

State v. Aaron J. Fuchs, 2014AP1041-CR, District 4, 12/18/14 (1-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

In assessing reasonable suspicion to detain Fuchs, police properly considered an allegation that Fuchs had been acting in “a violent and intoxicated” manner at a wedding reception before his contact with police; and based on all the circumstances, police had sufficient basis to administer a PBT.

The court of appeals rejects Fuchs’s argument that the “violent and intoxicated” information was worthless under  State v. Pickens, 2010 WI App 5, ¶¶5, 8-9, 13, 323 Wis. 2d 226, 779 N.W.2d 1 (an officer’s knowledge of the bare fact that Pickens was, for reasons unknown, suspected of unspecified involved in an unspecified shooting incident, did not add to a reasonable suspicion), and that without that information police lack reasonable suspicion to detain him:

¶7     The situation here is much different [than in Pickens]. Here, the officer had more information about the suspected behavior, and the officer personally made observations tying Fuchs to that suspected behavior. …. [T]hese facts amount to much more than the “shooting incident” evidence in Pickens. No reasonable police officer would have failed to believe that it was likely that Fuchs had drank too much at the reception, became involved in an altercation in a motel room, and left in his Trail Blazer while intoxicated. Particularly inculpatory were Fuchs’ responses when asked about drinking and why the officer made contact with him. When he was told the officer was there to follow up regarding an incident at the resort, Fuchs did not express surprise or otherwise indicate a lack of knowledge, but instead responded with words (“I know”) suggesting Fuchs knew about events at the resort that would have prompted police attention. When the officer asked Fuchs how much he had to drink, Fuchs did not simply respond, “I don’t know,” he went on to suspiciously and rhetorically ask: “What do you want me to say?”

The indications that Fuchs had driven while intoxicated are also sufficient to justify the officer’s request he take a PBT, despite his relatively good performance on field sobriety tests. (¶¶9-16).

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