State v. Canty, 224 N.C. App. 514 (Dec. 18, 2012)

No reasonable suspicion supported a traffic stop. The State had argued reasonable suspicion based on the driver’s alleged crossing of the fog line, her and her passenger’s alleged nervousness and failure to make eye contact with officers as they drove by and alongside the patrol car, and the vehicle’s slowed speed. The court found that the evidence failed to show that the vehicle crossed the fog line and that in the absence of a traffic violation, the officers’ beliefs about the conduct of the driver and passenger were nothing more than an “unparticularized suspicion or hunch.” It noted that nervousness, slowing down, and not making eye contact is not unusual when passing law enforcement. The court also found it “hard to believe” that the officers could tell that the driver and passenger were nervous as they passed the officers on the highway and as the officers momentarily rode alongside the vehicle. The court also found the reduction in speed—from 65 mph to 59 mph—insignificant.