Marked Lane Violations Require More than a Tire Width Over the Line - DUI News - 9/28/2016

A traffic stop initiated for a marked lanes violation is without reasonable suspicion when video fails to show a tire crossing the line by more than a tire width.

Cleveland v. Shevchenko, 2016 Ohio 5711 (8th Dist.).

September 8, 2016

Trooper Reagan claimed that he observed Shevchenko's vehicle commit a lane change violation of switching lanes without activating his turn signal.  Reagan claimed that this was not the reason for the traffic stop, but it did attract his attention.  Rather, he explained that he later observed Shevchenko's tire cross over a hash line by more than a tire width, and this was the reason for initiating the traffic stop.  Shevchenko filed a motion to suppress, which was denied, and as a result he entered a no-contest plea to a DUI. 

On appeal, Shevchenko challenged the trial court's denial of his suppression motion.  The 8th District reviewed precedent that held that, "an officer had reasonable suspicion to effect a traffic stop because the officer observed the defendant's vehicle twice cross over the white fog line 'by approximately one tire width.'"  Video of the traffic stop was used that did not start until after the alleged lane change violation.  The video did include footage of the alleged marked lanes violation, but did not show the tire crossing the line by more than a tire width.  Shevchenko was charged with the lane change violation, but not the marked lanes violation. 

The 8th District concluded that, "that ostensible discrepancies in the evidence compel us to find that the trial court's judgment is not supported by competent, credible evidence."  As a result, it granted Shevchenko's appeal.