Appeals court upholds traffic stop over weak tail light
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.