STAYING TOO LONG AT A GREEN LIGHT,
IS THAT A VALID (LEGAL) REASON
FOR THE POLICE TO STOP YOUR CAR?
|Just a Green Light or a DWI Defense?|
from business insider.com
DWI cases can sometimes turn on
DWI stops of cars are usually for equipment and/or moving violations BUT this is NOT always the case. I recently had a case where they said (the po po) that my client paused too long at a light after it turned green.
That was the reason that they followed, and then pulled the car over.
A pregnant pause at a traffic signal is not the best reason to feel someone is out driving impaired or intoxicated or high. So I demanded a suppression hearing to get real clear on the details of this stop and the driving prior to it. My defense, there was NO bad driving (including this pause/hesitation).
Just because it is 3am on route 13 doesn't mean you lose your constitutional rights to be FREE from
"the unreasonable and unlawful search and seizure" by the police (this is 4th amendment stuff).
So at the hearing the cop testified (quite honestly) that the only reason they suspected a problem with the driver was this hesitation.
Looking at NYS case law, there is one case directly on point for this exact thing.
PEOPLE v. MARTINEZ
A person stopped at the green for almost 30 seconds (the yellow just came on) and then went. Other cars actually passed them as they waited. The high court still did not feel this was reason enough to warrant (to allow) the police to stop the car.
The officer testified at the suppression hearing to the following: