State v. Franson-Hopka

In State v Franson-Hopka, 181 Wis. 2d 1005; 513 N.W.2d 708 (1994), a police officer observed a vehicle being driven in the evening hours with only one operational headlight. The officer stopped the vehicle for this defective equipment violation. While speaking with the defendant, who was driving the vehicle, the officer noticed a strong odor of intoxicants on her breath. He questioned the defendant about the odor and she admitted that she had been drinking wine at a nearby restaurant. Additionally, the defendant spoke so softly that the police officer could not understand much of her explanation. The officer then instructed the defendant to get out of her vehicle and perform roadside sobriety tests. On these facts, the Wisconsin court held that the police officer had a reasonable suspicion of intoxication under Terry v Ohio, sufficient to justify his request that the defendant perform roadside sobriety tests. The police officer in Franson-Hopka observed factors indicating the possibility of intoxication, in addition to the strong odor of intoxicants on the defendant's breath.