Driving On The Shoulder May Not Justify A Florida DUI Stop

The mere crossing of a fog line is not illegal. A plain reading of Section 3B.06 of the Federal Manual and Chapter 316, Florida Statutes, makes it clear that, although a solid white edge-line technically is a traffic control device, crossing such a line is not prohibited by § 316.074(1). An examination of section 3B.06 of the Federal Manual plainly provides that a solid white edge line is not intended to prohibit any vehicular action, but rather is meant to serve as an instructive guide or warning to drivers. And, logically, one cannot violate a statute, unless one engages in conduct which is prohibited by it.

The defense's argument on this point is correct. Accepting the State's proffered interpretation of Section 316.074(1) would lead to an absurd result. The result would be that traffic, once occupying highways or streets, where such edge lines are present, would be prohibited from entering driveways adjoining the street. It is clear that statutes cannot be interpreted in such a way that would lead to an absurd result. See State v. Webb, 398 So.2d 820, 824 (Fla. 1981) (“construction of a statute which would lead to an absurd or unreasonable result. . .should be avoided.”) Because solid white edge lines were meant to serve as visual guiding and warning mechanisms for drivers rather than as a prohibitive devices, and that an opposite conclusion would lead to unreasonable results, the Court concludes that the initial stop of defendant, based solely upon a violation of Fla. Stat. § 316.074(1) (2006), was unlawful. Therefore, all evidence derived from the unlawful stop must be excluded from admission. 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 76a.

This argument was recently litigated in Seminole County. Unfortunately due to the unique facts of the case the contact was ruled consensual. The fog line or shoulder issue was accepted by the court based on the opinion above. If you are arrested for a DUI based on a stop for driving on the shoulder or fog line in Orange County, Seminole County or Volusia County contact Daytona Beach DUI attorney or Seminole County DUI attorney.

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