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Incursion into gore point is basis for lawful stop - State v Brooks (Feb 1, 2018)

Thursday, February 01, 2018 8:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

In State v Brooks the defendant was stopped after driving over the wide solid white lines around the physical gore point for an onramp.   The trial court agreed the stop was lawful, but the Superior Court reversed the conviction for Driving with license Suspended based on its conclusion the law was ambiguous and the Rule of Lenity favored the defendant when a law is ambiguous.  The Court of Appeals reversed the Superior Court and reinstated the conviction reasoning that we never reach the rule of lenity because the zone within the wide white lines is not a "roadway" and a driver may not drive in it.   The concurrence would have held it is the "wide white line" that demarks the violation and not the use of the driving surface.  While that analysis is simpler, and supports the result here, it would not support many gore point intrusions because most are plain white lines.  The Brooks case is broad practical ruling that recognizes the neutral zone around gore points is not a travel lane and incursions indicate poor driving.  

The full case is here:     State v. Brooks

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