State v. Betow

In State v. Betow, 226 Wis. 2d 90, 593 N.W.2d 499 (Ct. App. 1999), Betow was stopped for speeding. The officer noticed that Betow appeared nervous and when Betow pulled out his license, the officer noticed that Betow's wallet had a picture of a mushroom sewn on it. The officer then told Betow that based on his experience, mushrooms were often symbols for drug use. He asked Betow for permission to search the car for drugs. Betow refused. The officer decided to conduct a search without Betow's consent and found a bag of marijuana. The Court held that the extended detention and subsequent search were improper because the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to justify detaining Betow for the search. See 226 Wis. 2d at 91-92, 593 N.W.2d at 501. The Court held that once a vehicle has been stopped upon an officer's reasonable belief that that the driver is violating a traffic law, the driver may be asked questions reasonably related to the nature of the stop. See id. at 93. The Court also held: "The key is the "reasonable relationship" between the detention and the reasons for which the stop was made. If such an 'articulable suspicion' exists, the person may be temporarily stopped and detained to allow the officer to "investigate the circumstances that provoke suspicion," as long as "the stop and inquiry are reasonably related in scope to the justification for their initiation." Stated another way, the scope of questions asked during an investigative stop must bear a reasonable relationship to the reasons for which the stop was made in the first place." Id. at 94 .