316.074(1), Driving under the influence, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Motion to Suppress

DUI Attorney – DUI Case Thrown Out – Crossing the Line

DUI Attorney, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ,  Motion to Suppress, Driving Under the Influence , 316.074(1)
DUI Cop Crosses the Line
DUI Attorney just reviewed a Driving under influence prosecution where a Vehicle stop for a Traffic infraction (Failure to obey traffic control device) was ruled an invalid traffic stop.  The court ruled that the crossing of the white edge line was not a failure to obey traffic control device. The court turned to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices that did not prohibit crossing edge lines. We have posted a link to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices here. In fact, the court found slight weaving within the driver’s lane did not support reasonable suspicion that the DUI defendant was impaired or that crime was even occurring. the Motion to Suppress the Traffic stop was granted and the Driving Under the Influence charges were dismissed.

Here are some excerpts:
The cop testified, “vehicle crossed the outside lane marker, then returned to her lane. Officer Montgomery stated that based on his training, experience and the time of the event, there was obviously something wrong with Appellee; most likely she was impaired. (R. at 59-62.) A video recording of Appellee’s driving was shown and entered into the court record.”
The cop claimed the DUI driver was, “cited for failure to obey a traffic control device, pursuant to section 316.074(1), Florida Statutes. Appellee conceded that pavement markings (i.e. lines or line markers) are traffic control devices, but argued that it was not a violation of the law to cross the white lane markers at issue in this case. Citing the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices(2009) (“Manual”), Appellee explained the instructions given by white line markers. (R. at 69-73.)”
The “court found that the stop of Appellee’s vehicle was based on a mere hunch (rather than reasonable suspicion), no detailed factual basis existed for the stop, and the slight weaving in the lane did not support a reasonable conclusion that the driver was impaired or that a crime was occurring. Rather, Appellee’s driving was consistent with innocent, lawful behavior.”
“It is undisputed that white line markers are traffic control devices that must be obeyed. Appellant argues the trial court should have concluded that it is illegal to cross a white edge line, given the lack of explicit instructions from the Manual. Section 3B.06 of the Manual states that edge lines are to provide visual guidance to drivers. No further instructions are issued. However, in other areas of the Manual, explicit instructions are given regarding crossing certain types of line markers, such as in section 3B.04, when referring to double white lines. Therefore, if the Manual meant to prohibit crossing the edge line described in section 3B.06, it would have specifically stated such a restriction, as it does elsewhere. The trial court correctly applied the facts of the instant case to the applicable law to determine that crossing the edge line is not prohibited due to lack of specific instruction to the contrary.”
“Based on the above, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the ruling on Appellee’s Motion to Suppress is hereby AFFIRMED.”
DUI Traffic Stop? Call Casey at 813-222-2220

Source: 19 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 349b