State v. Pierce

In State v. Pierce, 173 Vt. 151, 787 A.2d 1284, 1288 (Vt. 2001), a police officer observed a Saab driving backward towards a highway off-ramp. Id. at 1286. The Saab came to a stop next to the defendant's car at the intersection of the off-ramp and the highway. Id. The officer approached the Saab to question its driver and noticed that she smelled of alcohol. Id. When the defendant started to drive away, the officer motioned him to stop and said, "Hold on a second, I want to talk to you." Id. The officer approached the defendant to question him about the possible DUI of the Saab driver and observed the defendant also smelled of alcohol. Id. Although the court found the officer seized the defendant by stopping him, the court held it was reasonable and consistent with the Fourth Amendment under some circumstances for an officer to stop a witness to a crime for questioning. Id. at 1287, 1289.