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Reasonable Suspicion – Traffic Stop extended for Field Sobriety Testing

State v. Gary A. Senger, 2011AP1950-CR, District 2, 1/18/12

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Senger: Robert C. Raymond; case activity

Applying the test described in State v. Betow, 226 Wis. 2d 90, 94-95, 593 N.W.2d 499 (Ct. App. 1999) for extending a traffic stop, the court concludes that the officer had reasonable suspicion to administer FSTs following a stop for driving with a revoked license.

¶8        Here, Senger asserts that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion that he was impaired.  In so arguing, Senger notes what the officer did not observe—unusual driving maneuvers, slurred speech, or stumbling.  However, Senger’s argument ignores what the officer did observe—that Senger took longer than is typical to pull over his vehicle, that he did so in a manner that was not as safe as possible, that he had the odor of intoxicants on his breath, that he had admitted drinking and that it was approximately two a.m. on a Sunday morning.  We conclude that these observations could reasonably have led Schulteis to suspect that Senger was impaired.

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