People v. Gutierrez; People v. Carrillo-Toledo.
2020 CO 60. Nos. 20SA126 & 20SA127. Suppression of Evidence—Statutory Interpretation—Traffic Violation—Fourth Amendment.
June 22, 2020
The Supreme Court held that CRS § 42-4-903(4) requires a driver to activate his or her vehicle’s turn signal before moving left or right to change lanes. Accordingly, when an officer observes a driver activate the turn signal once his or her vehicle’s tires are already partially over the dashed line between lanes, that officer may reasonably conclude that he or she has witnessed a traffic violation and may lawfully stop the vehicle.
Here, the trial court erred when it concluded that the initial traffic stop was unlawful and suppressed evidence of criminality found during the vehicle search as stemming from that unlawful stop. The Court therefore reversed the trial court’s order and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Suppression of Evidence, Statutory Interpretation, Traffic Violation, Fourth Amendment