Rowe v. State – Traffic Stops in Maryland
Rowe v. State is a case in which a driver was stopped for briefly crossing the right shoulder line twice on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. After being pulled over, the officer determined that alcohol was not a factor, but did find that the vehicle was a rental vehicle and the rental contract had expired. After a search of the vehicle resulted in finding marijuana, the driver was also cited for failure to drive in a single lane. Although suppression of the evidence was denied during trial, the Court of Appeals reversed the denial on the basis that the brief line crossing observed by the officer prior to making the traffic stop did not constitute unsafe driving, thus there was no probable cause to make the stop. The Court noted that officers with reasonable suspicion of criminal activity may legally make a traffic stop in the absence of probable cause. In the case of Rowe, however, the Court decided that neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion existed and that the evidence should be suppressed. If you have pending charges resulting from a traffic stop, call Azari Law at 301.362.3300 to discuss your defense.