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Reasonable Suspicion – Traffic Stop

State v. Nathaniel B. Kind, 2011AP1875-CR, District 4, 12/29/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Kind: Ryan McNamara; case activity

A traffic stop for impaired driving supported by officer’s observation that Kind’s vehicle crossed fog line twice, without explicable cause such as debris on road.

¶15      While any one of these facts, standing alone, might be insufficient to constitute reasonable suspicion, “such facts accumulate, and as they accumulate, reasonable inferences about the cumulative effect can be drawn.”  Post, 301 Wis. 2d 1, ¶37 (citation omitted).  Here, Deputy Sheriff Grafton’s observations of Kind crossing the fog line twice on a straight and level road without any other explanation for the lateral movement, along with the other factors we have discussed above—the fact that the incident took place at 10:28 p.m. on a Saturday and Deputy Sheriff Grafton’s training and experience—give rise to a reasonable suspicion that Kind was driving while intoxicated.  These factors add up to more than the “[r]epeated weaving within a single lane,” that the Post court refused to deem, as a bright line rule, sufficient to justify a traffic stop.  See id., ¶20.  Accordingly, we reject Kind’s contention that crossing the fog line twice in this case is just like weaving within a lane, as discussed in Post.

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