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Published: Wednesday, 8/21/2013

Court says trooper wrong to stop driver


LIMA, Ohio — Just seeing a car’s tires drive onto a road’s white line for three seconds did not constitute “reasonable, articulable” suspicion for a state trooper to stop a Paulding County motorist, an appeals court ruled.

Ohio’s 3rd District Court of Appeals, in Lima, on Monday reversed the conviction of Kimberly Jo Shaffer on charges of failure to drive within the marked lines and reckless operation in Paulding County Court. Ms. Shaffer was charged with the marked-lanes violation and operating a vehicle under the influence after the trooper stopped her on State Rt. 66 on March 10, 2012.

The appeals court said the county court erred in overruling Ms. Shaffer’s motion to suppress evidence in her case, saying it could “not 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” her.

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