Court: Weak taillight is enough to stop drunken driver

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Court-gavel-and-justice

 (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.

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