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Police had reasonable suspicion to extend detention for field sobriety tests

Columbia County v. Jessica N. Johnson, 2015AP332, District 4, 8/27/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The arresting officer had reasonable suspicion to extend Johnson’s detention and ask her to do field sobriety tests based on additional information he gleaned after the initial contact with Johnson. State v. Betow, 226 Wis. 2d 90, 93-95, 593 N.W.2d 499 (Ct. App. 1999), applied.

¶15     …. The deputy made the initial stop based on the fact that there was an anonymous tip indicating that a vehicle matching Johnson’s van was speeding and that the driver had pulled over and vomited, and on the fact that Johnson’s vehicle was parked in the parking lot of a closed business along a highway at around 2:00 a.m. with its lights on and engine running.

¶16      During the stop, the deputy became aware of additional suspicious factors. Specifically, the deputy smelled a strong odor of intoxicants coming from inside the vehicle and from Johnson. Johnson was the only occupant in the vehicle. Johnson also admitted to the deputy that she had been drinking earlier that evening.

¶17      While any one of these facts, viewed separately, may not necessarily rise to the level of reasonable suspicion, a reasonable officer faced with the totality of circumstances here would reasonably suspect that Johnson had driven to the parking lot while intoxicated. ….

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