speeding ticket

Traffic Stop Valid Even When Cop Causes Violation

Last Tuesday, US Federal District Judge Ted Stewart ruled that a police officer can pull over a motorist for a traffic violation even if the officer himself caused the driver to commit the infraction.

The judge made the decision in the case of Hickory W. McCoy, who was pulled over on January 24, 2012 while traveling just under the speed limit in the left lane of Interstate 80 in Utah.

Highway Patrol Trooper Randy Riches was watching a speed trap on the side of the road, just about 150 feet from where the speed limit indicated from 75 MPH to 65 MPH. Just before noon, McCoy operating a rented 2011 Chevrolet Malibu passed traveling at a legal speed of 73 MPH. Riches began racing after the Malibu at a speed of 88 MPH, expecting to catch the vehicle speeding. Instead, even after following the Malibu for a mile and a half, it was driven at a legal speed of 62 MPH in the left lane. There was another vehicle passing in the right lane at the time.

Trooper Riches pulled over the Malibu on the grounds that it was blocking traffic in the left lane. Under Utah law, it is unlawful to dawdle in the fast lane, blocking faster traffic, unless avoiding actual or potential traffic in the right-hand lane. McCoy’s attorney, Randall Gaither, claimed that it was the trooper who was the one driving dangerously.

Gaither told the court that the Highway Patrol officer was driving at an excessive speed of over 88 miles per hour using no lights or siren down the Interstate in the right lane of travel while pursuing the vehicle without any observation of a traffic offense, He continued that the patrol car was driven in an aggressive manner without any emergency exception which certainly affected the drivers on the road. The only clear traffic violation was the excessive speed of the patrol vehicle driving and passing cars in the right lane.

Trooper Riches asserted the Malibu had room to get into the right lane, even though the patrol car was approaching 25 MPH faster than the rest of traffic on the road.

According to the judge, the court finds that the total circumstances support a finding that, at the inception of the instant traffic stop, Trooper Riches had a reasonable articulable suspicion that defendant committed a traffic violation under the laws of the state of Utah. For this reason, the court will deny defendant’s motion to suppress. As a result, McCoy will have to stand trial for charges for possession of marijuana and an Intratec 9mm.

If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced speeding ticket lawyers. Protect your right to drive legally.

Source: The Newspaper Com

Posted in Utah | Tags: , , ,
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