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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Kyle David Curtis was driving at night in Paris, Texas, on the southeast loop, a four-lane divided highway, when two state troopers observed his vehicle weave twice across “the inside fog line” and then once “across the broken lane divider line and back,” all in the space of “about several hundred yards as opposed to, let’s say, a quarter mile or so.” The officers stopped Curtis and arrested him for driving while intoxicated. A jury convicted Curtis and assessed punishment at 90 days in the county jail and a fine of $2,500.00. Curtis appealed. He claimed that the trial court erred in admitting, over his motion to suppress, all evidence gained after officers “illegally stopped Curtis’ vehicle without warrant, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion.” The state asserted that both reasonable suspicion and probable cause support the stop. The state claimed that Curtis was stopped pursuant to an observed traffic violation and on the officers’ reasonable suspicion of his intoxication. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. To justify a traffic stop, an officer must observe specific, objective, articulable facts which, in light of the officer’s experience and personal knowledge, together with inferences from those facts, would warrant a reasonable person to believe a traffic violation had occurred, the court stated. There court found no evidence in the record to indicate that Curtis’ weaving, outside of its occurrence, was unsafe. The court stated that there was no evidence in the case that Curtis crossed into a lane of oncoming traffic, interfered with traffic on the road or sustained his weaving for an extended length of time or distance. Williams’ testimony that Curtis weaving over “a relatively short distance” was insufficient, the court stated. The state introduced no evidence of danger to anyone on the road, the court stated. Merely weaving or swerving across a lane line is not, alone, a traffic violation, the court stated. The state must show that a person of reasonable caution would believe that, given the facts of the case and experiences related by the officer, the movement could not have been made safely, the court stated. The court concluded that there was no evidence that Curtis’ actions were unsafe. The evidence, the court stated, does not support a finding that the officers had a reasonable belief that Curtis violated Texas Transportation Code �545.060 (failure to remain in lane), because the evidence does not establish the lack-of-safety element in �545.060(a)(2). The court then addressed the state’s assertion that the troopers had both reasonable suspicion to continue an investigatory detention and probable cause to believe that Curtis was intoxicated after stopping him. The court alluded to a similar case “where the pre-stop weaving over a stretch of two to three miles was the only fact supporting suspicion of intoxication.” In that case, the court held that the state failed to carry its burden to show articulable facts that demonstrate the reasonableness of the stop on the basis of a suspicion of intoxication. Curtis’ weaving occurred over a much shorter stretch than did the driver in the previous case considered by the court. OPINION:Morriss, C.J.; Morriss, C.J., and Ross and Carter, J.J.

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