In 1994 the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, held in State v. Nelson that a police officer's observation of motorist Theodore Nelson consuming a single can of beer over a one-hour time period did not, by itself, give rise to a reasonable suspicion that Nelson thereafter illegally operated the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. This Note analyzes the Law Court's decision in Nelson. In its analysis, this Note compares Nelson to several other Maine opinions and recommends that, if the Maine Law Court is to continue to adhere to both objective and subjective standards in its determination of reasonable suspicion, it must take care to apply the “totality of the circumstances” doctrine appropriately.

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