Government and Law

Appeals court upholds traffic stop over weak tail light

April 13, 2017
| By AP |
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The Michigan appeals court has affirmed the drunken-driving conviction of a man who was stopped solely because one tail light was weaker than the other.

The case against Trevor Vanderhart was a misdemeanor, but it has gone through three courts so far. The appeals court decision this week produced 18 pages of analysis by three judges.

A police officer in East Grand Rapids said he stopped Vanderhart in 2014, based on a weak tail light.

Tests revealed a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

Vanderhart argued that the evidence should be thrown out, because a dim tail light is not a reason to stop a car.

But appeals Judge Brock Swartzle said the light created a dangerous condition that was enough to justify the stop under Michigan law.

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