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Hawaii Officer Justified in DUI Stop, Despite No Sign Prohibiting U-Turn

The Hawaii Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man arrested for a DUI after an officer pulled him over for making an unlawful U-turn, Courthouse News reports. Though there was no traffic sign expressly prohibiting U-turns at that intersection, the absence of a sign does not preempt other laws and ordinance governing lawful turns, so the Maui Police Department officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the drunk driver by observing him drive across double solid yellow lines and a skipped-dash white line, according to the ruling. 

The driver, Michael Pickell, argued that certain Hawaii statutes require “an express sign prohibiting U-turns to make such turns illegal,” the ruling said the illegal U-turn provided the officer with “reasonable suspicion to justify the traffic stop.” There were also Left-Turn-Only markings and signage present where the man made the U-turn.


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