Mitchell v. Dept. of Justice, 2015 MT 120 (Apr. 8, 2015) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)
Issue: Whether a momentary deviation from a lane of traffic violates § 61-8-328, MCA.
Short Answer: Yes.
Facts: Officer began following two cars one night near Red Lodge. After some time, car in front of officer passed Mitchell, who was two cars ahead of patrolman. As it was passed, Mitchell’s car crossed yellow center line. Before being passed, Mitchell’s vehicle crossed the fog line. Officer stopped Mitchell and cited him for crossing center line. Mitchell refused a breath alcohol test, resulting in suspension of his driver’s license.
Procedural Posture & Holding: A month later, Mitchell petitioned the district court to reinstate his license. After a hearing, lower court denied the petition, finding Mitchell’s car slightly crossed over the center yellow line in violation of § 61-8-328, MCA.…