Court throws out DUI evidence; rules officer had wrong speed limit

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 14:33:47-04

SARANAC, Mich. (AP) — A man convicted of drunken driving in western Michigan has won an appeal after it turned out that he was under the speed limit when stopped by police, not over it.

Anthony Owen was told he was going 43 mph (69 kph) in a 25 mph (40 kph) zone in Saranac in Ionia County. But attorney Ed Sternisha argued that the speed limit actually was 55 mph (88.5 kph) by default because there was no sign on southbound Parsonage Road.

The Michigan appeals court agreed, saying the traffic stop by a sheriff's deputy in 2015 was illegal. As a result, the court threw out evidence of drunken driving that stemmed from the stop.

The court says a "reasonably competent" officer should have known that he couldn't stop Owen for speeding.