In State v. Pinkham, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, held that a police officer's stop of a motorist to inquire and advise about the motorist's improper-but not illegal-lane usage did not necessarily violate the Fourth Amendment's proscription against unreasonable seizures. The Pinkham decision is the first time that the Law Court has validated the stop of a moving vehicle in the absence of either a suspected violation of law or an imminent, ongoing threat to highway safety. This Note considers whether the Law Court was correct in sustaining the police officer's stop of Ronald Pinkham. After considering whether Pinkham fits into any of the established categories of legitimate vehicle stops, this Note contends that the standard promulgated in Pinkham is a departure from previous case law and substantially expands the authority of law enforcement officials to stop motorists.
Roger M. Clement Jr.,
State v. Pinkham: Erosion of Meaningful Forth Amendment Protection For Vehicle Stops In Maine?,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol43/iss2/9