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Judges uphold public intox conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s public intoxication conviction, finding police had reasonable suspicion the man was intoxicated, and evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

In Michael Woodson v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1106-CR-543, police were called to an Indianapolis street on the report of a man and woman fighting. When police arrived, they were directed to Michael Woodson and a woman, who were not fighting at that moment. The woman left after speaking to officer Christopher Chapman, but police noticed Woodson smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.

Woodson admitted drinking and wouldn’t keep his hands out of his pockets, so police put him in handcuffs and arrested him for public intoxication. Woodson filed a motion to suppress, which was denied. He was convicted of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

The COA affirmed, finding the initial encounter with police did not require reasonable suspicion to approach Woodson because it involved a “casual and brief inquiry of a citizen, which involves neither an arrest nor a stop.” But once police smelled alcohol on Woodson and noticed his impaired speech, the initially consensual encounter evolved into a Terry stop. This stop was justified by reasonable suspicion based on the phone call from a concerned citizen and the officer’s observations.

The judges also found sufficient existed to support the conviction.  

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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