There are hundreds of motorists-related cases that come through the court system each year, but most never attract the attention of the average motorist. What follows is a collection of interesting legal rulings from this year that you may not have heard about, but could affect you or someone you know.
The list was culled from the archives of TheNewspaper.com, a valuable source of information for drivers across the country. A short summary is included with each ruling and clicking on the title will take you to a more-full featured article.
1) Maryland Attorney General Upholds Right to Video Traffic Stops
Maryland attorney general rules that state police were wrong to charge motorist with felony for recording his traffic stop.
2) Oregon Appeals Court Overturns Car Impound On Driver Property
Cars cannot be seized from the driveway of the owner without a warrant, according to Oregon Court of Appeals.
3) Texas: Court Rules Home Offers No Escape From DUI Arrest
Texas appeals court rules that making it home is not enough to escape a drunk driving charge.
4) Minnesota Appeals Court: Avoiding Police Justifies Traffic Stop
Minnesota Court of Appeals rules that legal driving away from a police officer is suspicious.
5) California Court of Appeal Publishes Red Light Camera Hearsay Decision
California Court of Appeal declines traffic camera company request to depublish Santa Ana appellate decision.
6) Tennessee Court Rules Overturns Turn Signal Traffic Stop
Tennessee Appeals Court rules police must show failing to signal caused a hazard to initiate a traffic stop.
7) Indiana Appeals Court: Pulling Gun During Traffic Stop Requires Cause
Indiana Court of Appeals rules that police officers should not pull their gun during a routine traffic stop.
8) Massachusetts Court: Cops Powerless Outside Jurisdiction
Massachusetts Appeals Court rules cop unable to arrest for traffic misdemeanor outside his jurisdiction.
9) Oregon Appeals Court Throws Out DUI Eye Test
Oregon Appeals Court throws out common field sobriety test known as vertical gaze nystagmus.
10) New Mexico Supreme Court Overturns DUI Without Driving
New Mexico Supreme Court rules that driving under the influence of alcohol charges requires proof of driving or intent to do so.
11) Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Speeding Ticket By Visual Guess
Police officers in Ohio can issue speeding tickets based on sight, state supreme court rules.
12) Florida Attorney General Rules Photo Tickets Are Public Records
Red light camera tickets in Florida turns sensitive, private information into a public record.
13) West Virginia Supreme Court: DUI Does Not Require Proof Of Driving
Drunk driving fines may be imposed without proof that the accused ever drove, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled.
14) Wisconsin: Slow Driving Not Cause For Traffic Stop
Wisconsin Appeals Court rules that slow driving does not create a pretext for a traffic stop.
15) Louisiana Supreme Court: Phone Tips Justify Traffic Stop And Search
Motorists in Louisiana can be stopped and searched based on anonymous phone tips, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled.
16) Hawaii Supreme Court Strikes Down Another Speeding Ticket
Police speedometer calibration testimony inadmissible without proper foundation, Hawaii Supreme Court rules.
17) Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Motorist Blood Draws
Police in Oregon can draw blood from motorists accused of drunk driving without making any attempt to obtain a warrant.
18) Minnesota Supreme Court Rules DUI Possible in Inoperable Vehicle
Minnesota Supreme Court upholds drunk driving conviction on a man asleep behind the wheel of an undriven, possibly inoperable vehicle.
19) Ohio Appeals Court: Driving With Caution Is Not Suspicious
Ohio Appeals Court rules that police cannot stop a driver for exercising caution at a flashing yellow light.