Attorney at Law
821 Witzel Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54902
(920) 233-3300

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                                                                                The Case of the Cautious Clerk

A clerk at a drug store called in a tip to the local police force stating that an intoxicated man had come in to make some purchases and that the allegedly drunk customer was presumed to be going to drive away in a truck that was out in the parking lot.  An officer came to the scene, put the truck under observation and eventually saw a person with an unsteady gait get into the vehicle, start it up and drive away.  Just before the driver began to navigate into a public street, the officer pulled him over and subsequently Driver was charged with two operating while intoxicated felony counts.  He moved to suppress all evidence with respect to his arrest arguing that there was no showing that the drug store clerk was a reliable informant; that the clerk’s knowledge was weak in that the tipster did not see Driver operate his truck or violate the law; and that there was no information on why the clerk thought Driver was intoxicated in the first place.  The trial Judge denied the motion and eventually Driver was convicted on one felony count and appealed to a higher court the denial of the exclusion of the damning evidence against him.  What do you think?  Is a tip from a random person who never personally observed the person actually operating a vehicle while presumed to be drunk enough to lead to an arrest and conviction or is Driver simply trying to slither off of his 5th OWI conviction?​     

                                                                             If you were the Judge: How would you decide?
Effective legal counsel since 1979.
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