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Probable cause for OWI arrest found; conviction upheld

City of Oshkosh v. Jonathan D. Berger, 2013AP2804, District 2, 4/23/14 (one-judge, ineligible for publication); case activity

Applying the settled test for deciding whether the police had probable cause to arrest for OWI, the court of appeals examined the facts and circumstances of this case and found probable cause.

The facts were that Berger had been involved in some sort of accident; a witness who was at the  scene thought Berger was intoxicated; it was 11:30 p.m. and Berger smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes; Berger admitted to having drunk 2 pints of beer; and he refused field sobriety tests.  Those facts established probable cause.  The court of appeals rejected Berger’s claim that the record failed to show the officer’s training and experience in detecting intoxication and minimized the significance of a bartender’s testimony that Berger was not drunk.  Slip op. ¶¶9-11.


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