Wisc. driver who crossed fog line was stopped without enough reason, judge rules

Drunken driving overturned

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

WAUKESHA, Wisc. — A state Court of Appeals judge on Wednesday overturned the drunken-driving conviction of a Hartland man, ruling that a police officer did not have "reasonable suspicion" to pull his car over after it drifted over the fog line twice.

In reversing the conviction of Brian J. Haanstad, Appellate Judge Richard S. Brown concluded that crossing the fog line - the stripe marking the side of the road - by itself "is simply not enough" erratic driving to form a basis for the stop. Typically, Brown said in his ruling, officers make the decision to stop after seeing a variety of indicators that a motorist is having difficulty controlling a vehicle.

"But in this case, we simply cannot tell from the scant evidence before us how Haanstad was driving," Brown wrote.

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