When is weaving not weaving?

Weaving in traffic? It depends on which county you're in.

In Cuyahoga County, the prevailing standard was set in State v. Grigoryan, when the 8th District Court of Appeals (Ohio) held that weaving within one's own lane of travel is not considered a legal justification for a traffic stop and investigation.

The appeals court, which covers Cuyahoga County only, found in Grigoryan that the driver was drifting within a single lane of travel and briefly drove on the left yellow edge line. The court characterized such conduct to be "inconsequential movement within a lane" that did not give the officer cause to effectuate an investigatory stop.

This holding changed long-standing Ohio precedent, which held that an officer could stop a motorist for weaving within a lane. The Grigoryan court distinguished this case from the Ohio Supreme Court's holding in State v. Mays, which found that driving over a white fog line with the passenger side tires constituted a reasonable suspicion to engage a motorist in an investigatory stop.

So, as long as a car is being driven within a lane, unless the tires go over a lane or line marker, it is not weaving—until you go over the Cuyahoga County line. It would be interesting for a court to review whether the same analysis applies to a motorcycle.

—Michael E. Cicero
cicero@nicola.com