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Reasonable Suspicion – Guzy Factors

State v. Steve J. Will, 2010AP723-CR, District 4, 8/12/10

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Will: Mark Eisenberg; BiC; Resp.; Reply

Reasonable suspicion to stop Will’s truck is supported under the multi-factor test of State v. Guzy, 139 Wis. 2d 663, 407 N.W.2d 548 (1987): while authorities were monitoring a marijuana field an alarm was set off, confirming that someone was indeed in the field, and Will’s truck was the only vehicle subsequently seen on the road leading away from the field. Presence in an area of suspected criminal activity isn’t alone enough for a stop, but Will’s was not only the sole vehicle present, it was at a place and time consistent with the time it would have taken for a suspect to arrive from the spot where the marijuana was growing.

Wrong place, wrong time. The unfortunate Will apparently had nothing to do with marijuana, but he had had a few too many. And though he’d committed no traffic infractions, he smelled of alcohol and his eyes were — where have we heard this before? — “bloodshot,” ¶3. Dark country road, 9 p.m., too, ¶2, which gives the deputy bat-like discernment. Or maybe there’s a widely used training manual that sets out the characteristics accepted by courts for an OWI seizure.

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