Highways and Trafficways

Offenses occurring on major roadways

DUI statutes only apply to the operation of vehicles on a "highway" or "trafficway". A "highway" is:

The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. The term includes a roadway open to the use of the public for vehicular travel on grounds of a college or university or public or private school or public or historical park.

A "trafficway", in turn, is defined as:

The entire width between property lines or other boundary lines of every way or place of which any part is open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel as a matter of right or custom.

The definition of "trafficway" leads to a lot of interesting issues since the definition is very broad; at minimum, however, to be a "trafficway", it must be open to the public.

A private parking lot - even where signs declare the lot to be private - can be considered a "trafficway" when the lot is open to the public as a matter of custom. Commonwealth v. Wilson, 553 A.2d 452 (Pa. Super. 1989). Similarly, a condominium lot in which public access was not restricted in any way and which had no signs indicating that property was private was found to be a trafficway. Commonwealth v. Cozzone, 593 A.2d 860 (Pa. Super. 1991),

Complicated Issues Require Knowledgeable Representation

When a DUI case involves parking lots, driveways, fields, etc., these issues are very complicated. Only an experienced lawyer can provide good advice on whether, under the circumstances of a particular case, a place is a "trafficway". At Goldman Law Offices we have been working for more than 60 years to defend clients throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, and the surrounding area with complex issues.

Contact our office

For a private consultation with an experienced Doylestown criminal defense attorney, contact our office online or call us at 215-348-2605.