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IL high court says minor swerve enough to warrant a stop

Mon, 09 Jul 2012 04:15:05 CDT

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled in a D-U-I case that asked just how badly someone has to drive before police are justified in making a traffic stop. Dennis Hackett was driving through Joliet when a sheriff's deputy says he saw Hackett's car cross a lane divider. Twice. He pulled Hackett over and charged him with drunken driving. Earlier this year, Hackett's attorney, Ryan Kosztya , argued before the Supreme Court that police shouldn't be able to pull people over for every little lane deviation.


"It isn't an absolute. You don't point your car one way and you're automatically in that spot driving within that parameter of a particular roadway and carrying on."

Two lower courts agreed, but the Supreme Court didn't.   In a unanimous opinion, the justices rejected the idea that drivers have to cross lane lines for a while before police are justified in making a stop. Hackett's appeal came before he stood trial on the DUI charge. The case now goes back to the Will County Circuit Court.

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