Court: Weak taillight is enough to stop drunken driver


EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — 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.


  1. What crap! Cops can say anything and it is “just cause” My son was pulled over for not having a license plate light on his Jeep. After the complete search of his person and car the cop wrote him a ticket. He fought in court and won because he did have a license plate light in the first place. Cop was to stupid to look at the bottom of the tail light to see it but that wasn’t why he pulled him over anyway. Just felt like being an ass and performing an otherwise illegal search on a citizen for no reason whatsoever so he just made up a bogus reason for stopping him.


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