Most people who drive down University Parkway near the Sarasota-Manatee County line believe north of the road is Manatee County while south of the road is Sarasota County.
Defense attorney Annemarie Rizzo thought the same thing. That was until a traffic case crossed her desk.
"I decided to start investigating,” Rizzo said. “Once I started doing that I realized that it wasn't as simple as north and south of the median on University Parkway.”
Here's what happened: Rizzo’s client was pulled over on the stretch of road by a Manatee deputy for running a red light.
Rizzo’s research found that the county line is pretty straight, but the road isn’t.
A map shows just how confusing it can be.
Depending on where you are, you can be in either county while driving on the same side of the road in the same direction.
The good news is you don't have to worry if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Police and EMS personnel don’t spend time figuring out on the fly where they have jurisdiction. Their dispatches handle that.
"If we're made aware of an incident that occurs on University Parkway regardless of whose jurisdiction it is, if it's an emergency situation obviously we're going to respond appropriately," said Cpt. Paul Richard of the Sarasota Sheriff's Office.
But it gets a little more difficult when it comes to an arrest.
The Manatee County deputy in Rizzo's case didn't have the authority to arrest her client because the arrest happened in Sarasota County, she says.
"That's pretty clear in the law — that if you're out of your jurisdiction you can't make a stop for a traffic infraction," she said.
The evidence in the case was thrown out, while perceptions about a road that used to be known as "County Line Road" changed forever.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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