Court Rules Police Stop Unlawful: Drugs & DUI Evidence Suppressed
State Police stopped a motorist traveling eastbound on I-90 after midnight in Erie County because of a suspected lane violation and careless driving. After the stop, police smelled marijuana coming from the car and saw marijuana “shake” on the center console next to the driver.
Tim George challenged the constitutionality of the stop and subsequent search of if the vehicle. The court agreed, finding that the stop was illegal and violated the Pennsylvania and US Constitutions because, although the motorist crossed the white fog line and traveled on the broken white centerline several times as the police followed him, the lane movements were made safely at times when no other vehicles or other safety hazards were present on the roadway.
As a result, all evidence obtained after the stop, including blood test results and marijuana, cannot be used against the motorist at trial. The Commonwealth now has 30 days to file an appeal or dismiss the case.