Flashing the High-Beams

Flashing the High-Beams

Here is an excellent ruling for those of us who know about flashing high-beams.  Why do we do it? What's the reason behind it? Generally it's because the idiot coming from the opposite direction has their high-beams on and we are trying to remind them to turn them off.

In this case, a driver happened to flash his high-beams at the officer twice.  So the officer pulled him over to "investigate." The officer subsequently arrested him for a DUI.  The question is... can an officer stop you for flashing your high-beams? Answer: Only in certain circumstances, none of which applied to Mr. Sarber's case.

A12-0110        Aaron Neil Sarber, petitioner, Appellant, vs. Commissioner of Public Safety, Respondent.

Mille Lacs County District Court, Hon. Judge Steven A. Anderson.

A driver's conduct in twice flashing the high-beam headlights of his vehicle at oncoming traffic is not an objective basis for an investigatory traffic stop when the record contains no evidence that the headlights projected "glaring rays . . . into the eyes of the oncoming driver" in a manner that blinded, impaired, or distracted another driver.  Minn. Stat. § 169.61(b) (2010).

Reversed.  Judge John R. Rodenberg.

By: Landon J. Ascheman, Esq.
Landon@AschemanSmith.com
(B) 612.217.0077 (C) 651.280.9533

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