A Lowndes county case involving Improper Lane Change was dismissed after we showed the state that there was no violation of the law. The Defendant and another young man got lost while driving in an unfamiliar town. They ended up in what the police refer to as a known drug area. When the police saw two young white men driving in that area of town at night, they began to follow the car looking for a reason to stop it. When the Defendant arrived at an intersection where the lane he was in became a left turn only but he proceeded straight, the police stopped him. The police then spent the next 45 minutes searching the car for drugs. When they found none, the cited him for Improper Lane Change.
We demonstrated to the Court that there was no clear indication at the intersection that the lane was a left turn only. The only sign so designating it was an unlit overhead sign some 300 feet before the intersection. Additionally, the lane was directly opposite the lane on the other side of the intersection so a reasonable person would believe he was in the correct lane to go straight. Finally, Georgia law does not require you to signal to change lanes if not necessary for the safety of other vehicles. The only other vehicle around was the officer following the Defendant. So there was no improper lane change in any event. Oh and by the way, the police were just using this as a pretext to stop the car to search for drugs.
The Court agreed and so the State dismissed the case.