One of the most common traffic infractions that law enforcement in Columbus cite for initiating a traffic stop in DUI cases is driving in marked lanes, R.C. 4511.33. That statute provides that a person must drive their vehicle, as nearly as practicable, within a single marked lane of travel. Failure to maintain a vehicle within a marked lane is a traffic offense.
Drivers, even when sober, may find it difficult to maintain between the marked lines for a variety of reasons, such as debris or sharp curves in the road. While a reasonable explanation may be a defense against the charge of driving in marked lanes, the fact that a vehicle traveled outside the lane is sufficient for an officer to stop the car. Not only is it a reason to stop the car, it will be considered as evidence that the driver may be under the influence.
Officers are trained that people under the influence have difficulty dividing their attention between tasks. So, a driver under the influence may have difficulty in both causing the vehicle to travel forward and then steering the vehicle so that it maintains between the lanes.
Once a vehicle is stopped for an ostensible traffic violation, the driver can be asked to step out of the vehicle and, to a certain extent, questioned. All the while, the officer is looking for other clues of impairment to justify the predetermined decision to arrest the person for DUI.
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