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Weaving within lane, other circumstances supported traffic stop

Columbia County v. Stephen M. Kokesh, 2015AP1650, District 4, 3/10/16 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The totality of the circumstances—the driving observed by the officer and the time of the driving—provided reasonable suspicion stop Kobkesh’s car, despite Kokesh’s creative attempt to show otherwise.

¶9     …. Deputy Steinle testified that Kokesh’s “vehicle was going right to left and weaving within the westbound lane of traffic” for approximately four to five miles. The Post court noted that other jurisdictions have considered prolonged weaving a factor supporting reasonable suspicion. [State v.] Post, [2007 WI 60,] 301 Wis. 2d 1, ¶25[, 733 N.W.2d 634]. In addition, in this case, the prolonged weaving for four to five miles took place at around 2:28 a.m. on a weekend morning. The time of the incident taken together with the type of driving behavior here, including at least two occasions of touching or crossing the fog line along with prolonged weaving, provided Deputy Steinle with reasonable suspicion that the driver was operating while intoxicated. See [State v.] Popke, [2009 WI 37,] 317 Wis. 2d 118, ¶27[, 765 N.W.2d 569] (considering the fact that the incident took place at 1:30 a.m. to support a finding of reasonable suspicion under the totality of the circumstances).

¶10     Kokesh attempts to distinguish this case from Post and argues that “the facts in this case are far less suspicious.” In his brief in chief, Kokesh provides a table contrasting the facts in this case against those in Post, including time of day, degree of weaving, frequency of weaving, distance travelled, width of the lane, width of the vehicle, measurement of the weaving within the lane, whether the vehicle touched the fog line, and the type of road the vehicle was traveling on. While this court appreciates Kokesh’s efforts, there is not a mathematical equation whereby we can simply input numbers to receive an answer of yes or no to our inquiry of whether there was reasonable suspicion. Indeed, the Post court refused to do just that.

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