Have you been recently pulled over for driving too slow? Did it ultimately lead to an OVI or DUI charge? There may be options to challenge the charge of “slow speed”. Jaime Glinka at Suhre & Associates can discuss your case with you and help you fight the case.
What exactly is the “Slow Speed” Law in Ohio?
4511.22 Slow speed.
(A) No person shall stop or operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or street car at such an unreasonably slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when stopping or reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or to comply with law.
(B) Whenever the director of transportation or local authorities determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a controlled-access highway, expressway, or freeway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the director or such local authority may declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or street car except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. No minimum speed limit established hereunder shall be less than thirty miles per hour, greater than fifty miles per hour, nor effective until the provisions of section 4511.21 of the Revised Code, relating to appropriate signs, have been fulfilled and local authorities have obtained the approval of the director.
(C) In a case involving a violation of this section, the trier of fact, in determining whether the vehicle was being operated at an unreasonably slow speed, shall consider the capabilities of the vehicle and its operator.
(D) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
What exactly does this mean?
This means that if you are not impeding traffic or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, then the police officer cannot lawfully pull you over.
In this instance, your attorney should file a motion to suppress to challenge probable cause to stop.
How Have Ohio Courts Decided Slow Speed Cases?
Ohio has adopted the view that slow speed alone is insufficient to warrant a traffic stop. The prevailing view is that “slow speed” without some demonstration of impeding or obstruction of traffic is insufficient to validate a stop. Ohio Courts have held that slow speed alone does not provide an officer with reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal activity for an investigatory traffic stop.
The most notable case on slow speed in Ohio is State v. Bacher. In Bacher, the defendant was driving 42 and 43 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone. The police officer pulled him over for slow speed and ultimately cited him with a DUI. The appellate court held that slow driving alone does not create a reasonable suspicion of OVI.
Similar results have been held in the 5th, 10th, and 12th district.
If you have been charged with Slow Speed or a DUI resulting from a Slow Speed stop, contact Jaime Glinka at Suhre & Associates.