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  • Sunday, June 30, 2024 10:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    To find the most recent TSRP newsletter with highlights from Keller and Smith v. Az, please look under the impaired driving resources tab.  Thank you!


  • Friday, June 21, 2024 1:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Supreme Court on 6.21.24, upheld a federal law that bars anyone subject to a domestic-violence restraining order from possessing a gun. By a vote of 8-1, the court ruled that the law does not violate the Constitution’s Second Amendment, which protects the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.

    In 2020, a court in Texas entered a civil protective order against him after he dragged his then-girlfriend back to his car when she tried to leave after an argument. He pushed her into the car, causing her to hit her head on the dashboard. He also fired a gun at a bystander who witnessed the incident. The protective order specifically barred Rahimi from having a gun.

    Justice Roberts opined that when looking at English and American gun laws, the US firearm laws have included provisions preventing individuals who threaten physical harm to others from misusing firearms. In particular, he pointed to two different kinds of laws in early history – laws that gave courts the power to require individuals who were believed to be a threat to post a bond, and laws that provided for the punishment of individuals who had threatened others with guns.

    When those laws are viewed together, Roberts wrote, they “confirm what common sense suggests: When an individual poses a clear threat of violence to another, the threatening individual may be disarmed.”

    The ruling in United States v. Rahimi was the court’s first Second Amendment case since it threw out New York’s handgun-licensing law nearly two years ago. In that case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the majority emphasized that courts should uphold gun restrictions only when there is a tradition of such regulation in U.S. history.  Here the court found a relationship to such tradition which supports the disarming of persons who poses a clear threat of violence to another.


  • Friday, June 21, 2024 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • In Smith v. Arizona, the court rules that when an expert conveys an absent lab analyst’s statements in support of the expert’s opinion, and the statements provide that support only if true, then the statements come into evidence for their truth, and thus implicate the Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause.
    • The court declined to opine on whether the out-of-court statements that the expert conveyed in this case were in fact testimonial because the state court did not decide that question. The court found the questioned to be assumed true in the lower court.  


  • Wednesday, June 05, 2024 11:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Prosecutor DUI Bootcamp:

    September 16-18, 2024 in Yakima, WA. Registration is open for members on our website.  If you are not yet a member, please sign up and register for this exceptional training.


    DRE pre-school for Prosecutors.  This will will be a full 3 day course. More details to come but a prerequisite to attend is to attend the prosecutor bootcamp and/or an Aride class prior to the DRE preschool. Dates to be determined.  

    Stay tuned for more updates on trainings.    


  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Driver charged with killing WSP Trooper Gadd admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana before the I-5 crash.  

    The suspect accused of crashing into and killing Washington State Trooper Christopher Gadd on I-5 near Marysville March 2, 2024, has been charged in connection with the incident.

    Raul Benitez Santana, 32, is currently behind bars in Snohomish County on $1 million bail. Prosecutors announced that he was charged with two counts of vehicular assault (reckless manner or while under the influence) in connection to Gadd's death.

    The Washington State Patrol (WSP) said Gadd, 27, started with the WSP on Sept. 16, 2021. He became the 33rd WSP member to die in the line of duty in the agency's 103 years of service, according to the WSP. Gadd was on patrol Saturday, parked in the grass on the right-side shoulder of the freeway when the crash happened, according to probable cause documents. A witness driving a semi-truck said Gadd's vehicle was "fully marked" with the lights off, the document said, when a speeding black SUV "swerved and struck the rear end" of the patrol vehicle. 

    A Drug Recognition Expert who spoke with the suspect at the hospital said he saw "multiple physiological signs consistent with recent Marijuana usage." The suspect's blood was drawn at the hospital, and a voluntary Preliminary Breath Test taken about 3.5 hours after the collision came back with a .047 reading. The suspect also admitted to deputies that he had consumed 2 beers after initially saying he had only one.

    For those looking to donate to Gadd's family, the WSP Memorial Foundation provided the following instructions:
    • Using Venmo, donations can be sent to @WSP-MemorialFoundation. Please note “Trooper Gadd” in the note section. (If last 4 is requested, use 4411)
    • Go into any Chase Bank Branch and make a check deposit into the “Washington State Patrol Memorial Foundation” account. “Trooper Gadd” should be noted on the check note line.
    • Using your own bank, you can log in online or through your mobile app and make a donation using Zelle. Donations can be sent to our WSPMF number, 360-597-4411, or email, wspmemorialfoundation@gmail.com. Please note “Trooper Gadd”. All donations received will be held for the family. There are no fees with using Zelle.
    • You can mail a check made out to WSPMF with “Trooper Gadd” on the note line to:
    • WSP Memorial Foundation
    • PO Box 901
    • Prosser, WA 99350

    Anyone wishing to send cards to the family are asked to address them to the WSP Marysville Office: 2700 116th St. NE, Marysville, WA 98271.


  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024 9:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Save the Dates:

    ARIDE-presented by the Impaired Driving Section and an excellent way for prosecutors to learn the skills required for impaired driving.  You must contact Rebecca Cortez to attend.  Contact information  and dates. 

    DRE Preschool:  June 17-19, Yakima WA. Prosecutors must get permission to attend from Rebecca Cortez.   Contact information  and dates. 

    TSRP Prosecutors Basics Bootcamp, September 16-18, 2024TSRP Basics Bootcamp for Prosecutors, with courses on DRE protocol, IID laws, how to use the Draeger instrument, a wetlab, SFST training, evolution of DUI laws, ethics, etc. 

    WSAMA training which includes a criminal track: For more information click Here  

    • April 24-26, 2024 Vancouver Hilton - Vancouver, Washington
    • September 25-27, 2024 Hotel Murano - Tacoma, Washington
    • April 23-25, 2025 Suncadia Resort - Cle Elum, Washington

    October 21-23, DRE school for Prosecutors!  Learn what your experts know.  More information to come.  


  • Monday, April 15, 2024 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Court overturns Kitsap County Ruling that the Drager instrument must calculate the mean by the method approved by the toxicologist as it relates to admissibility under 46.61.506, at the time the test is provided.  The Supreme courts majority opinion confirms that:

    1) State law places strict limits on the admission of breath test results into evidence. A breath test is “valid” if it is performed “according to methods approved by the state toxicologist.” RCW 46.61.506(3). And a breath test is admissible only if the breath samples “agree to within plus or minus ten percent of their mean to be determined by the method approved by the state toxicologist.” RCW 46.61.506(4)(a)(vi).

    2) The district court is also correct that in 2010, the state toxicologist “approved” “the method” for performing that calculation; it was memorialized in former WAC 448-16-060 (2010). That method required the mean of the four individual test results1 to be “rounded” to the nearest four decimal places prior to determining the plus or minus 10 percent range. Former WAC 448-16-060.

    3) The district court is correct that despite those statutes and regulations, the Dräger instrument has never rounded the mean before calculating the plus or minus 10 percent range. Instead, the Dräger was programmed to truncate the mean before performing that calculation.

    But the district court erred in ruling that those statutes and regulations require the Dräger machine itself to perform the mean and the plus or minus 10 percent range calculation in accordance with former WAC 448-16-060’s rounding method.  The district court therefore erred in concluding that because the instrument was not programed to perform this calculation by rounding ( the method approved by the toxicologist) its mathematical calculations rendered the test results invalid and inadmissible under RCW 46.61.506, State v, Baker, and our evidentiary rules. The Supreme court reversed holding no relevant statute or WAC requires the Dräger instrument to perform the mathematical calculation range at the time of the test, and the State can prove the foundational admissibility for the mathematical calculation of the mean and the plus or minus 10 percent range at a different time or manner. 

    Find the case here. 

  • Monday, October 30, 2023 1:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The state and defense argued their positions to the Washington Supreme Court on 10/26/23 regarding whether the State can meet its prima facie burden for admissibility of the breath test ticket. Defense argument took a bit of a strange turn when they argued that WAC 448-16-060(1) was at issue, that the instrument should not be truncating the results at all, in addition to how the Draeger calculated the mean at the time of the test vs. what is required by statute. Some Justices appeared confused with the math and how the instrument itself operates.  Just from argument, it appeared most of the justices understood  that the argument was simply an issue of statutory construction and that no rule or statute requires that the mean calculation for admissibility be done at the time the test is given and the instrument accepts the test. Both of the state attorneys did a good job referring to what a valid test actually is under the rule, and that the rule does not include anything regarding sample agreement.  To watch the hearing, you can find it here.  https://tvw.org/video/washington-state-supreme-court-2023101187/

    If you cringe every time the instrument is called a machine, fair warning. 

    Melanie Thomas Dane-WA TSRP 

  • Monday, August 21, 2023 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    State v. Samantha Hall-Haught. Unpublished (publication denied).  

    On July 31, 2023, Division One of the COA rejects the defendant’s challenges to her Island County Superior Court conviction for vehicular assault. The Hall-Haught Opinion’s opening paragraph summarizes the ruling on the main issue in the case (Sixth Amendment confrontation right) as follows:

    On appeal, [Hall-Haught] contends that she was deprived of her constitutional right to confront the witnesses against her when lab results indicating THC in her system were admitted into evidence without the testimony of the technician who performed the test. Because the supervisor who testified and was available for cross examination had independently reviewed the testing and the results and testified to her own opinions about them, we conclude that Hall-Haught’s confrontation rights were not violated.

    Key excerpts from the Hall-Haught Opinion include the following: In Washington, expert witnesses may testify to their own conclusions, even when they rely on data prepared by non-testifying technicians. State v. Lui, 179 Wn.2d 457, 483, 315 P.3d 493 (2014). Because Harris testified to her own independent conclusion, HallHaught’s confrontation rights were not violated." Legal Update - 11 July 2023 . . . . While the testimony of technicians “may be desirable, . . . the question is whether it is constitutionally required.” Lui, 179 Wn.2d at 480. “[A] break in the chain of custody might detract from the credibility of an expert analysis of some piece of evidence, [but] this break in the chain does not violate the confrontation clause.” Lui, 179 Wn.2d at 479. Thus, only the “ultimate expert analysis, and not the lab work that leads into that analysis,” is subject to the confrontation clause requirement. Lui, 179 Wn.2d at 490. . . . . Here, as in [City of Seattle v. Wiggins, 23 Wn. App. 2d 401 (2022)], Harris testified that she was a supervisor and had reviewed the report prepared by a different forensic scientist, rather than being present during the testing. However, unlike in Wiggins, Harris specifically testified that she “came to [her] own independent conclusion” following her review of all the data in the file. Thus, Harris was not merely “parrot[ing] the conclusions” of her subordinates, which is not permitted by the confrontation clause. Lui, 179 Wn.2d at 483. Instead, she was “rely[ing] on technical data prepared by others when reaching [her] own conclusions,” which is permitted without the testimony of each analyst. Lui, 179 Wn.2d at 483.

    The Opinion in State v. Hall-Haught can be accessed on the Internet at: https://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/842471.pdf ************************

  • Tuesday, May 02, 2023 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Register now!

    East Wenatchee:  September 14th -15th  Hosted by the East Wenatchee Police Department. 

    Pasco: October 5-6th Hosted by Pasco Police Department.  

    Registration links for East Wenatchee and Pasco can be found under the impaired driving resources page.


    As always, our trainings are free for TSRP members.  

    Contact Melanie Dane, mdane@mrsc.org, for more details. 



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