What Does a “Lanes of Travel” or “Marked Lanes” Charge Mean?

April 7th, 2011 by DaytonDUI Leave a reply »
A yellow road marking.
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A marked lanes charge is often a companion charge to a DUI/OVI offense.  It is also a “cue” that the officer may look for based on his/her National Highway Transportation Safety Administration training. Many people believe that weaving, in and of itself, is both a crime and an indication of drunk driving.  This article will demonstrate the Ohio law on these matters as they are most frequently charged (marked lanes; lanes of travel).  Check your ticket and see if you have violated this law.

Ohio Revised Code sec. 4511.25 Lanes of travel upon roadways of sufficient width.

(A) Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle or trackless trolley shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

  1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, or when making a left turn under the rules governing such movements;
  2. When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;
  3. When driving upon a roadway divided into three or more marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon;
  4. When driving upon a roadway designated and posted with signs for one-way traffic;
  5. When otherwise directed by a police officer or traffic control device.

(B) Upon all roadways any vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn.

(C) Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle or trackless trolley shall be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized by official traffic control devices designating certain lanes to the left of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use the lanes, or except as permitted under division (A)(2) of this section.

This division shall not be construed as prohibiting the crossing of the center line in making a left turn into or from an alley, private road, or driveway.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

4511.33 Driving in marked lanes.

(A) Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, or wherever within municipal corporations traffic is lawfully moving in two or more substantially continuous lines in the same direction, the following rules apply:

(1) A vehicle or trackless trolley shall be driven, as nearly as is practicable, entirely within a single lane or line of traffic and shall not be moved from such lane or line until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.

(2) Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle or trackless trolley shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or trackless trolley where the roadway is clearly visible and such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or when preparing for a left turn, or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the direction the vehicle or trackless trolley is proceeding and is posted with signs to give notice of such allocation.

(3) Official signs may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway, or restricting the use of a particular lane to only buses during certain hours or during all hours, and drivers of vehicles and trackless trolleys shall obey the directions of such signs.

(4) Official traffic control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

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