Category: Marked Lanes

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.

Commercial Drivers Beware – OSP To Target You This Week

00DUI Trucking & CDL, Marked Lanes, SpeedingTags: , , , , , , , ,

Commercial Drivers Beware!

The Ohio State Highway Patrol joined a week-long effort focused on increasing commercial drivers  tickets. The initiative includes officers with the Michigan State and Indiana State police departments, who will focus on violations by commercial vehicle drivers that are proven to contribute to crashes, including: speed, following too closely, improper passing, distracted driving and improper lane use. The initiative began Monday and runs through Saturday, Dec. 12.

cdl driversThis type of enforcement is grant-funded and designed to cause untold problems with truck drivers who depend on their license to earn a living. What makes it particularly ugly is that commercial drivers are some of the best and safest drivers on the road. This kind of arbitrary enforcement has the unintended consequence of causing people to see traffic enforcement as a rigged game.  When this happens, respect for the rule of law diminishes.

If you have a commercial drivers license and need an attorney this week, please give Dayton DUI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II and attorney Mark J. Babb (Babb & Rowland, LLC)  a call.


Marked Lanes Violations & Traffic Stops

00DUI Case Law, Illegal Police Stops, Marked Lanes, Ohio Traffic LawTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

marked lanesWhen can a police officer make a stop for a marked lanes violation?

In State v. Houck, 2011-Ohio-6359, Ohio’s Fifth Appellate District considered the legal standards required to stop a person for a marked lanes violation. See O.R.C. 4511.33

“In Ohio, when a driver commits only a de minimis marked-lanes violation, there must be some other evidence to suggest impairment before an officer is justified in stopping the vehicle. See State v. Gullett (1992), 78 Ohio App.3d 138, 145, 604 N.E.2d 176, 180–181. In Gullett, the Fourth District Court of Appeals concluded that the mere crossing of an edge line on two occasions did not constitutionally justify the stop. Similarly, this court has held that where there is no evidence of erratic driving, ‘other than what can be considered as insubstantial drifts across the lines,’ there is not sufficient evidence to justify an investigative stop. State v. Drogi (1994), 96 Ohio App.3d 466, 469, 645 N.E.2d 153, 155. However, as discussed above, under certain circumstances, an incident or incidents of crossing lines in the road may give a police officer reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle, depending on those factors that indicate the severity and extent of such conduct. Id.; State v. Johnson, 105 Ohio App.3d at 40, 663 N.E.2d at 677.”

If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, talk to your attorney about challenging your arrest based on the above marked lanes (O.R.C. 4511.33) violation.  If you are able to demonstrate that there was no “reasonable and articulable suspicion” for the stop, your stop is illegal and may lead to the suppression of evidence.

Ohio DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driving in Dayton and throughout the Miami Valley.  He has been featured in Car & Driver and Time Magazine as a leader in his field and has the credentials and experience necessary to win your Ohio OVI case.

Contact Charles M. Rowland II at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND [888-769-5263].  Stay up to date on Ohio OVI law at our Facebook page. You can follow @DaytonDUI on Twitter, Tumblr, Pintrest and YouTube.  Put DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android app or text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500 to get information sent directly to your cell phone. For city specific information, please click on the links below:

Dayton, Springfield, Beavercreek, Centerville, Miamisburg, Xenia, Vandalia, Huber Heights, Fairborn, Oakwood, Piqua, Troy, Springboro, Franklin and Lebanon.

Marked Lane Violation Overturned By Third District Court of Appeals

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State v. Shaffer, 2013-Ohio-3581 Overturns Marked Lane Violation

marked lane violation

In a decision that will impact many OVI cases, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that a trooper did not have a “reasonable, articulable” suspicion to stop a Paulding County woman for a marked lanes violation. O.R.C. 4511.33.   Accordingly, her convictions for reckless operation and failure to drive within the marked lanes were reversed.

In the court’s unanimous decision, authored by Judge Stephen R. Shaw, the court agreed with Shaffer’s claims “that Trooper Sisco’s testimony that a vehicle’s tires touched the white fog line on a single occasion, causing the right fender of the vehicle to extend slightly over the line for three seconds, without any other evidence in the record addressing either the practicability or safety of the circumstances, is not sufficient to establish reasonable, articulable suspicion of a marked lane violation of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1).”

Judge Shaw particularly pointed to one specific phrase in section (A)(1).

“We believe the language ‘as nearly as is practicable’ inherently contemplates some inevitable and incidental touching of the lane lines by a motorist’s vehicle during routine and lawful driving, without the vehicle being considered to have left the lane of travel so as to constitute a marked lanes violation,” Judge Shaw wrote.

“Accordingly, it is our conclusion that consideration of the statutory factors of practicability and safety is integral to any determination of a violation of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1).”

“The fact remains that in this case there is no evidence in the record from which any legitimate inference can be drawn regarding either one of these requisite statutory elements,” Judge Shaw noted.

“Accordingly without some additional evidence in the record regarding the surrounding circumstances, traffic and road conditions going to the express statutory language regarding either practicability or safety, we cannot conclude that the act of Shaffer driving onto the white fog line one time for a matter of three seconds is alone sufficient to establish the requisite reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop Shaffer for a violation of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1).”

In conclusion, Judge Shaw wrote: “We simply believe our decision is more consistent with the specific statutory language of R.C. 4511.33(A)(1), which among other things, refers to the movement and location of vehicles, not tires.”  For a link to the Marked Lane Violation statute, please visit this link [HERE].


Ohio DUI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”


 Find city-specific Ohio DUI information on Marked Lane Violation in specific cities, please follow these links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville 


Bears In The Air: OSP To Target Distracted Drivers

00Assured Clear Distance, Marked Lanes, Ohio Traffic Law, Reckless Operation, SpeedingTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6state-headerIf you are driving distracted this week watch out! 

The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be joining forces with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project for a distracted driving enforcement and awareness effort June 16 – 22 in an effort to reduce distracted driving related crashes and raise awareness about the dangers distracted driving creates.  The Patrol’s aviation section will assist road troopers from the air by focusing on crash causing violations that may be caused by distracted driving, including; aggressive driving, marked lanes violations, following too closely and driving left of center.

This effort dove tails with the continuing national Click It or Ticket program.  The 6-State Trooper Project includes the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Kentucky State Police, Indiana State Police, Michigan State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the West Virginia State Police.  It is a multi-state law enforcement partnership aimed at providing combined and coordinated law enforcement and security services in the areas of highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence sharing.

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.  Immediate help is available by filling out this CONTACT form.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at 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: or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.