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Court: Weak taillight enough to stop drunken driver

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Michigan appeals court has affirmed the drunken-driving conviction of a man who was stopped near Grand Rapids solely because one taillight 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 taillight. Tests revealed a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

Vanderhart argued that the evidence should be thrown out because a dim taillight is not a reason to stop a car. But appeals Judge Brock Swartzle says the light created a dangerous condition that was enough to justify the stop under Michigan law.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/04/13/taillight-drunken-driver-stop/100416290/

Associated Press – April 13, 2017

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