Marked Lane Violation Overturned By Third District Court of Appeals
In a decision that will impact many OVI cases, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that a trooper did not have a “reasonable, articulable” suspicion to stop a Paulding County woman for a marked lanes violation. O.R.C. 4511.33. Accordingly, her convictions for reckless operation and failure to drive within the marked lanes were reversed.
In the court’s unanimous decision, authored by Judge Stephen R. Shaw, the court agreed with Shaffer’s claims “that Trooper Sisco’s testimony that a vehicle’s tires touched the white fog line on a single occasion, causing the right fender of the vehicle to extend slightly over the line for three seconds, without any other evidence in the record addressing either the practicability or safety of the circumstances, is not sufficient to establish reasonable, articulable suspicion of a marked lane violation of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1).”
Judge Shaw particularly pointed to one specific phrase in section (A)(1).
“We believe the language ‘as nearly as is practicable’ inherently contemplates some inevitable and incidental touching of the lane lines by a motorist’s vehicle during routine and lawful driving, without the vehicle being considered to have left the lane of travel so as to constitute a marked lanes violation,” Judge Shaw wrote.
“Accordingly, it is our conclusion that consideration of the statutory factors of practicability and safety is integral to any determination of a violation of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1).”
“The fact remains that in this case there is no evidence in the record from which any legitimate inference can be drawn regarding either one of these requisite statutory elements,” Judge Shaw noted.
“Accordingly without some additional evidence in the record regarding the surrounding circumstances, traffic and road conditions going to the express statutory language regarding either practicability or safety, we cannot conclude that the act of Shaffer driving onto the white fog line one time for a matter of three seconds is alone sufficient to establish the requisite reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop Shaffer for a violation of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1).”
In conclusion, Judge Shaw wrote: “We simply believe our decision is more consistent with the specific statutory language of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1), which among other things, refers to the movement and location of vehicles, not tires.” For a link to the Marked Lane Violation statute, please visit this link [HERE].
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Find city-specific Ohio DUI information on Marked Lane Violation in specific cities, please follow these links: