Is Driving Too Slowly a Crime?
Everyone knows that speeding is cause for a traffic stop. But what about driving too slowly? According to an Orange County DUI defense attorney, whether or not that pretext is enough to justify a traffic stop depends on the circumstances.
In an example from Georgia, a traffic stop was upheld when the driver was proceeding so slowly on an interstate highway that it posed a hazard to the other drivers. Yet in another Georgia case, the court found no reasonable suspicion for a stop when the driver was going about 30 mph in a 55 mph zone. It’s really up to the discretion of the individual police officer for each situation, and beyond that, the local courts. There are a lot of factors—some roads have no minimum speeds posted, for instance, so pulling over a driver may turn out to be a less valid decision on those roads.
A related pretext question is: How fast do you need to respond to a traffic light? In a noteworthy case, a DUI stop was allowed when a driver failed to respond quickly enough to a traffic light change. But, a stop in a New Jersey case was thrown out when the officer pulled someone over solely because the defendant, who was stopped at a red light, waited for five seconds to proceed after the light turned green. If it seems a little confusing, that’s because it is—the law has a lot of variables, and an Orange County DUI Defense Attorney will be able to help you with the technicalities of your case.
Weaving Into Trouble
There are many more factors that lead to traffic stops. For instance, while driving too slowly is debatable, crossing highway lanes too quickly or too many times may arouse suspicion. In a Kansas case, the court upheld the DUI stop when the driver changed speeds and crossed the centerline three times. Yet a Maine case was different when a driver straddled the center line for about 50 yards. The courts found the stop unjustified in part due to light traffic. In a similar case in Florida, a defendant crossed the line several times into the right-side shoulder lane. The court found the stop improper, as here, again, traffic was sparse.
The line between harmless inattention and suspicious carelessness is not as clear as the stripes between highway lanes. You need an Orange County DUI defense attorney who knows the precedent cases, California laws, and the workings of our local courts. If you have been arrested for a DUI, call Coffey & Coffey at (800) 706-7888 for a free consultation today.