State v. Husk

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Traffic Infractions
  • Date Filed: 11-08-2017
  • Case #: A159265
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Aoyagi, J. for the Court; DeHoog, P.J.; & Hadlock, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 811.370, a motorist must drive exclusively in a single lane unless there is a valid reason (e.g. a road hazard) that “makes it impracticable,” or he is attempting to switch lanes but is confirming it is safe to do so. State v. McBroom, 179 Or App 120, 125-26, 39 P3d 226 (2002).

Defendant appealed convictions that arose out of a traffic stop for violating ORS 811.370(1)(a) (requiring a person to drive “as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane”). Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress. On appeal, she argued that a “momentary crossing of a lane marker” was not an objectively reasonable belief for an officer to have probable cause to initiate a stop. The state countered that ORS 811.370(1)(a) requires motorists to “stay entirely within their lane at all times unless there is some articulable reason that it is impracticable to do so.” Under ORS 811.370, a motorist must drive exclusively in a single lane unless there is a valid reason (e.g. a road hazard) that “makes it impracticable,” or he is attempting to switch lanes but is confirming it is safe to do so. State v. McBroom, 179 Or App 120, 125-26, 39 P3d 226 (2002). The Court of Appeals found the officer’s subjective belief that Defendant violated ORS 811.370(1)(a) was objectively reasonable because she failed to assert a reason as to why it was impracticable for her to drive entirely within her lane. The Court held that the stop was lawful and therefore, the trial court did not err. Affirmed. 

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