State v. Fikes

In State v. Fikes, 228 Ariz. 389, 267 P.3d 1181 (App. 2011), an officer observed that one of three brake lights on the defendant's vehicle was not working and stopped him for violating A.R.S. 28-939. 228 Ariz. 389,2, 267 P.3d at 1182. Section 28-939(B)(1) provides that stop lamps shall be "maintained at all times in good working condition." The court concluded 28-939 required only one stop lamp be maintained, based on the statute's language and context. Id.7, 11. For that reason, the officer had lacked reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant's vehicle based on a violation of the statute. Id.16. In Fikes, the officer "did not testify that he was motivated by public safety or community welfare." 228 Ariz. 389,15, 267 P.3d at 1184. And "nothing in the record indicated any other driver was or could have been confused." Id.15. For those reasons, the court explicitly declined to address in Fikes whether the stop may have been permissible "under a public-safety or community-welfare exception." Id.