Category: Ohio Traffic Law

Marked Lane Violation – What Is The Law?

00Marked Lanes, Ohio Traffic Law

Marked Lane Violation: The Cases of Muller, Thomas, Parker, and Shaffer

Quick Answer: When a vehicle crosses a marked lane for reasons other than safety, you are able to pull someone over for a marked lane violation.
marked lane violation

Each of these cases deals with a traffic stop under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 4511.33(A)(1) for a marked lane violation that led to arrest on other criminal violations. In general, the law requires drivers to stay, as much as possible, within a single lane and to not move from their lane without first making sure it’s safe to do so.

Marked Lane Violation Case Law

State of Ohio v. Muller Fifth Appellate District, Delaware County, July 29, 2013

A trooper watched Eugene Muller drive 10 miles under the speed limit and stated that he saw the car cross over the right white fog line by two to three tire widths. The court reviewed the footage from the dash camera and found that as Muller rounded a curve to the right, the right rear tire completely crossed the white fog line by one tire width. The court found that based on a totality of the circumstances, the trooper had a reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop Muller and upheld the OVI.

State of Ohio v. Thomas, Twelfth Appellate District, Warren County, Aug. 5, 2013

A deputy saw Winston Thomas’ vehicle slow down quickly, almost causing a collision, then drift over the marked center line and back into its original lane. Based on a totality of the circumstances, the deputy had reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop Thomas. Once the stop was made, drugs were found in the vehicle.

State of Ohio v. Parker, Sixth Appellate District, Ottawa County, Aug. 9, 2013

A trooper noticed a vehicle weaving several times inside the lane and pulled Matthew Parker over on a marked lane violation. At trial, the trooper testified that a marked lane violation generally occurred when a vehicle crossed a designated line on a roadway. After reviewing the dash camera footage, the court noted that Parker drove on the line a few times, but never crossed it; as a result, the trooper did not have a reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop Parker.

State of Ohio v. Shaffer, Third Appellate District, Paulding County, Aug. 19, 2013

A trooper pulled Kimberly Shaffer over after her passenger side tire drove onto and over the white fog line once for three seconds. The court looked at the language “as nearly as is practicable,” concluding that the statute doesn’t preclude all movement from the lane. For example, movement can be made to avoid debris or to initiate a safe lane change. It determined that without additional evidence of the surrounding circumstances, traffic, and road conditions, the act of Shaffer driving onto the white fog line one time for three seconds was not sufficient to establish reasonable and articulable suspicion. The court did not find the vehicle had gone over the line. The court also stated it would not adopt the “tire-rule” approach from the 11th District.

Why Are These Cases Important?

These four cases highlight four different courts’ views. Each came to the same conclusion on the law: The car MUST cross the line for a reason other than safety to be a proper marked lane violation. What that means: If a car merely drives on the line, near the line, or crosses over the line safely, there is no violation. What you are looking for is evidence that the driver is distracted, impaired, or driving recklessly. That could be weaving repeatedly over the line, crossing the center line when there is no one to pass, or driving way over the fog line. This is important because if you don’t pull someone over correctly, the remainder of the criminal actions may be thrown out. In half of these cases, the courts said the officers didn’t have enough cause to pull the drivers over.

Keep These Facts In Mind

When I obtain an officer’s report, dash cam, and interview, everything will come down to those few moments on the road when they made the decision to pull you over. It is my job to argue for you. There is nothing like putting less than five minutes of your life under a microscope for attorneys and the court to tear apart. A court’s job is to look at the facts of your case, look at the law, and determine if under your facts, the law was violated. And while different courts can come to different decisions based on similar facts, I can maximize the possibility of getting evidence suppressed by knowing the law cold.

Non-Compliance Suspension?

00Driving Under Suspension, DUI & Driving Privileges, Ohio Traffic LawTags: , , ,

 NON-COMPLIANCE SUSPENSION

What is a non-compliance suspension? Any driver and/or owner who failing to show proof that they had automobile insurance in effect at the time of an accident/offense/random selection will lose his/her driving and registration privileges for a maximum of two years.  This suspension will stand until the following requirements are met:

  • Carry a certificate of insurance (SR-22/bond) for three years
  • Pay a reinstatement fee

If you get a second non-compliance offense, the penalty is increased. The penalty for a second non-compliance offense in a five-year period is a one-year suspension. The suspension stands until the following requirements are met:

  • Serve one-year suspension
  • Carry a certificate of insurance (SR-22/bond) for five years
  • Pay a reinstatement fee

The penalty for a third non-compliance offense in a five-year period is a two-year suspension. The suspension stands until the following requirements are met:

  • Serve two-year suspension
  • Carry a certificate of insurance (SR-22/bond) for five years
  • Pay a reinstatement fee

The suspension can be removed if valid proof of coverage at the time of the traffic stop or accident is provided to the BMV.

How Do I Fix This?

non-compliance suspensionThere are two important things you need to do. First, consult an attorney. Problems with your license not being valid can snowball. A non-compliance suspension can cause massive problems with the courts and the BMV. Charles M. Rowland II, DaytonDUI, can help you navigate through the process. Second, if you are not sure if your license is valid you can find out by going to the BMV’s website.

Depending on the reason for your driver’s license suspension, you may be able to request a hearing if you want to contest the suspension. Generally, to request a hearing/appeal your suspension, you must either:

  • Mail a written hearing request to:
    Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    P.O. Box 16784
    Columbus, OH 43216

Most administrative hearing requests must be made within 30 days after receiving your suspension notice. For more information on requesting a hearing/appeal for specific types of suspensions, read the Driver’s License Reinstatement Procedures, or contact the Ohio BMV at (844) 644-6268.

How To Reinstate Your Suspended License

To reinstate your suspended license, you’ll generally need to:

  • Wait-out the duration of your suspension.
  • Satisfy any court requirements/fines, if applicable.
  • Complete a remedial driving course, if required.
  • Retake and pass the driving knowledge and skills tests, if required.
  • File and maintain SR22 car insurance for 3 – 5 years, for non-compliance suspensions.
  • Pay your reinstatement fees.

How To Pay Your Reinstatement Fees

In addition to the steps above, your need to pay your reinstatement fee. Your reinstatement fees can be paid:

  • By mail to the address above, or the address noted on your suspension notice.
  • In person at your local Ohio BMV office.
  • By phone by calling 1-866-OPLATES (675-2837).
  • Online at the Ohio BMV website.

If you visit an OH BMV office, you may need to provide proof of your identity and Ohio residency. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ website provides a list of acceptable proofs.

What can you do?

  • Call my office right away.
  • Set up a free consultation.
  • Get your paperwork together.
  • Visit the suspending court.
  • Do not get discouraged.
  • Obtain your court papers.
  • Pull your driving record.
  • Copy your paperwork.
  • Copy and save your emails.
  • Make multiple inquiries.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Call the BMV before our meeting.

I have handled thousands of DUI cases. We can obtain limited driving privileges. We get your life back!

DUI on the Water and the Return of Boating Season

00DUI & Boating, Physical Control, Reckless OperationTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Slalom skier

With the return of the summer boating season, many people will soon be enjoying Ohio’s beautiful lakes and rivers.  This is a reminder that Ohio is cracking down on captains who indulge in alcohol while on the water.  Boating Under the Influence is illegal in Ohio. 2001 Sub. S.B. 123, eff. 1-1-04 sought to unify the drunk driving provisions with Ohio’s boating laws.   O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1)  to O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(6) prohibit a person from operating or being in physical control of a vessel underway or manipulating water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

O.R.C. 1547.11(A)(1) is the impairment provision of the law, preventing operation or physical control while under the influence.  The law also has a provision preventing operation with a prohibited level of alcohol which it sets at the same prohibited level (.08) as the DUI/OVI law Unlike the DUI/OVI law, there are no high-tier provisions which apply to boating. A third section of the law prohibits operation or physical control with a concentration of certain controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, et al.) or metabolites of the same.  This section of the law is identical to the DUI-drug provisions found in O.R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(j).

Subsequent amendments to the law, 2007 Am. Sub. S.B. 17, eff. 9-30-08, allows for forced blood draws for persons with two or BUI offenses.  A BUI offense can be used to enhance a subsequent DUI/OVI  offense. O.R.C. 4511.181(A)(6)-(7).  Some important differences in Ohio’s BUI law, stem from the fact that Ohio does not require an operator’s license to operate a watercraft.  Therefore, no administrative license suspension provisions are in the law.  Instead, the chief of the Division of Watercraft gives written notice that you are prevented from operating or being in physical control of a watercraft (or from registering a watercraft) for one year from the date of the alleged violation.  Another key difference is that a fourth or subsequent BUI offense is not subject to felony enhancement.

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence offenses are set forth at O.R.C. 1547.99 and are similar to those provided for DUI/OVI offenses.  Boating Under the Influence is a first degree misdemeanor and is subject to a minimum 3-day jail sentence and a maximum 6 months in jail.  The 3-day jail sentence can be served in a qualified driver intervention program.  The minimum mandatory fine for a first BUI offense is $150.  A second offense within 6 years carries a mandatory 10 day jail sentence, but the minimum mandatory fine is still $150.  A third offense requires a minimum of 30 days in jail. NOTE: The Ohio legislature is constantly “tweaking” the Ohio DUI and BUI laws, so please check with an attorney as these laws may have changed.

Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

cleveland plain dealer file photo speed camera

Springfield Red Light Camera Program Restrictions Upheld

00Ohio Traffic LawTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Springfield was trying to defy the (relatively) minor rules placed on their use of automated ticketing machines. On Friday, the Second District Court of Appeals ruled that it was entirely constitutional for the legislature require police presence where photo ticketing devices are in use (view ruling). Springfield refused to make any changes at all in the way their private vendors operated. They filed suit to block enforcement, objecting to the new law’s requirement that a safety study justify the use of a camera and the prohibition on ticketing vehicles allegedly traveling 5 MPH or less over the speed limit.

“Upon review, we conclude that Springfield’s traffic camera ordinance is clearly an exercise of its police power,” Judge Mary E. Donovan wrote for the court. “In light of our previous holding in Dayton, we find no merit to Springfield’s argument that Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 is not a general law. Contrary to Springfield’s assertions, Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 was not enacted to limit municipal powers, and the statute constitutes a comprehensive, uniform, statewide regulatory scheme which clearly prescribes a rule of conduct upon citizens generally. Like the city of Dayton before it, Springfield has failed to meet its burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 in any way offends the Ohio Constitution.”

 

What is Snow Law in Ohio?

00Holiday Messages, Ohio Traffic LawTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

English: Trees covered by snow in Boreal, Cali...

Let it snow!

With the return of winter weather, we have received some questions about what constitutes an emergency and under what authority an emergency can be deemed to exist.  We have also counseled clients who wanted to know what law would circumscribe their behavior during a significant weather event.  Here is what we learned:

A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare an emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his/her jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion 97-015, issued April 1, 1997, concluded that this authority includes state roads, county and township roads and municipal streets.

Ohio law provides for three levels of emergency classifications.

Emergency Classifications

LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow (the definition may become a matter of dispute if you ever have to challenge this law). Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.

LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.

LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

Ohio Revised Code 2917.13 sets forth the crime of “Misconduct at an Emergency.”  Any person who knowingly hampers or fails to obey a lawful order of the sheriff declaring an emergency and temporarily closing highways, roads and/or streets within his/her jurisdiction may be subject to criminal prosecution under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.13, “Misconduct at an emergency” or other applicable law or ordinance. A violation under that section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $250. If the misconduct creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.  Below is the full text of the statute.

ORC 2917.13. Misconduct at emergency.

(A) No person shall knowingly do any of the following:

  • 1. Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other authorized person, engaged in the person’s duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot or emergency of any kind;
  • 2. Hamper the lawful activities of any emergency facility person who is engaged in the person’s duties in an emergency facility;
  • 3. Fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer’s duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster or emergency of any kind.

(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit access or deny information to any news media representative in the lawful exercise of the news media representative’s duties.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of misconduct at an emergency. Except as otherwise provided in this division, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If a violation of this section creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) As used in this section:

  • 1. “Emergency medical services person” is the singular of “emergency medical services personnel” as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.
  • 2. “Emergency facility person” is the singular of “emergency facility personnel” as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
  • 3. “Emergency facility” has the same meaning as in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 03-22-2004

To view the state’s weather-related road closures and restrictions, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation’s traffic Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI (and clean up snow)”