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  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021 9:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    For members looking for the LEGAL UPDATE FOR WASHINGTON LAW ENFORCEMENT, aka. "The LED", the latest publications will be available on our TSRP website under our Members Tab.  

    This monthly publication is sent out by WAPA and often duplicated by our TSRP website.  To provide you access 24/7, and so you don't have to search through your emails to find the publication you are looking for, they will be kept on our website for your convenience.    

    Enjoy and thank you Law Enforcement Officers, for your service, protection and sacrifice.  

    -Melanie Dane, WA TSRP


  • Tuesday, September 07, 2021 2:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    For members looking for the LEGAL UPDATE FOR WASHINGTON LAW ENFORCEMENT, aka. "The LED", the latest publications will be available on our TSRP website under our Members Tab.  

    This monthly publication is sent out by WAPA and often duplicated by our TSRP website.  To provide you access 24/7, and so you don't have to search through your emails to find the publication you are looking for, they will be kept on our website for your convenience.    

    Enjoy and thank you Law Enforcement Officers, for your service, protection and sacrifice.  

    -Melanie Dane, WA TSRP

  • Monday, August 02, 2021 4:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Drunk driving statistics 2021

    In the latest drunk driving statistics from the NHTSA, age, gender and location are significant factors. Those most at risk for drunk driving are young people, motorcyclists and drivers with prior DWI convictions.

    https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

    https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving#alcohol-abuse-and-cost-5091

    COVID and drunk driving

    In addition to the distractions drivers already face on the road, compounded by the stress of COVID-19 and the resulting pandemic, other increasing driver trends are concerning - particularly in conjunction with drunk driving and driving fatalities.

    However, COVID-19 also left its mark on these statistics, conversely affecting drunk driving trends.

    By September 2020, drunk driving fatalities increased almost five percent from the same period in 2019, although total miles traveled decreased about 14.5 percent. The fatality rate also increased from 1.10 to 1.35 in just a year. The influence of alcohol, drugs and medication were only responsible for about 10 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes.

    https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html


    What safety steps can individuals take?
    Make plans so that you don’t have to drive while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. For example:

    • Before drinking, designate a non-drinking driver when with a group

    • Don’t let your friends drive while impaired.

    • If you have been drinking alcohol and/or using drugs, get a ride home, use a ride share service, or call a taxi.

    • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Offer alcohol-free beverages, and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.

    • Always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

    • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.

  • Thursday, July 22, 2021 4:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read the full opinion here.   State v. Vanderburgh, COA No. 35868-2-III

    Because “drunk driving is neither innocent nor passive,”State v. Blake, 197 Wn.2d 170 (2021), does not overrule or invalidate alter pre-existing case law which holds that vehicular homicide predicated upon the defendant operating the vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs is a strict liability crime. The trial court did not err in excluding evidence that the jaywalking decedent pedestrian was potentially impaired by drugs at the time of the incident as neither the decedent’s noncompliance with state law regarding cross-walks nor drug use was a “but-cause” factor in her death. Read the full opinion here.   State v. Vanderburgh, COA No. 35868-2-III

    The “driving under the influence of an intoxicant” for DUI or vehicular homicide is a strict liability crime, although the State must still prove that the conduct of the defendant was the proximate cause of the death. Frahm, 193 Wn.2d at 596. The defendant’s driving could have been “‘flawless.’”  Regardless, the law imposes absolute liability based on intoxication. State v. Burch, 197 Wn. App. 382, 407 (2016).

    “Moreover, the conduct in vehicular homicide by intoxication requires the choice to consume alcohol and drive, an unquestionably dangerous combination.” State v. Bash, 130 Wn.2d 594 (1996).

     

    Congratulation to Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office on this decision. 


  • Friday, November 13, 2020 9:13 AM | Anonymous member

    On October 23, 2020 the WSP Toxicology Laboratory received written notification from Millipore Sigma/Cerilliant informing customers of an issue impacting one of its products. An additional follow-up notification was received October 26, 2020. Both notification letters are attached.

    Cerilliant_THC Qual Notice_20201015.pdf

    The product in question is the Delta-9-THC (THC) Certified Reference Material, lot #FE08221804. Millipore Sigma/Cerilliant confirms that the certified concentration of this THC Certified Reference Material remains the same; however, the measurement uncertainty value for this lot has increased

    The WSP Toxicology Laboratory has used this product multiple times from July 31, 2019 to date for the preparation of THC calibrators and controls, which are in turn used for the identification and quantitation of THC in forensic casework. The WSP Toxicology Laboratory has concluded that THC measurement uncertainty ranges for results reported from testing performed from July 31, 2019 to date, will be impacted by this change

    The WSP Toxicology Laboratory needs additional time to calculate and validate the revised measurement uncertainty value for THC results reported since July 31, 2019. In the meantime, the WSP Toxicology Laboratory has purchased new THC Certified Reference Materials with different lot numbers and has prepared replacement THC calibrator and control materials.

    The revisions will not afffect any THC result.  The revisions relate only to the measurement uncertainty, which will expand to address the above revision.  

    If you have any questions regarding a THC result, contact the analyst in your case.

    Although this revision is expected to have little or no effect on case dispositions, prudent prosecutors will notify defense attorneys in affected cases.   Expect a listing of cases from the toxicology laboratory to be posted and distributed. 


  • Wednesday, November 04, 2020 9:13 AM | Anonymous member

    Through Measure 110, which has captured more than 58% of the vote so far, Oregon will decriminalize the possession of small amounts of some hard drugs, including heroin, LSD, and psilocybin. Instead of criminal prosecution, people in possession would face a fine, which can be waived if the person agrees to pursue treatment.

    Oregon Story   

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020 2:00 PM | Anonymous member

    The Court of Appeals (Div. II) agreed the Superior Court trial judge did not abuse their discretion by denying the defendant’s motion to bifurcate in a Felony DUI trial.  The defense wanted to hide the prior DUI offenses from the jury prior to the jury's decision on whether the defendant committed their most recent DUI.   If the jury convicted on the DUI, the jury would then get the evidence on the priors to decide whether the new DUI was a "felony" DUI.  The Court of Appeals agreed that because the existence of the defendant’s prior offenses was an element of the charged crime, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to bifurcate.

    The Court of Appeals also affirmed that the prosecution need not call the blood-draw person to establish "foundation" for the blood draw.  The officer in the case noted the relevant facts and these were sufficient for the court to conclude---under a prima facie standard--that foundation was satisfiled.

    Congratulations to DPA Jeremy Morris!  

      State v. Tysyachuk, COA No. 52448-1-II (Apr. 14, 2020).

    Full Text of Case

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2020 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read it here: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/362680_unp.pdf

    State v. Stenberg (Consolidated with Shergur); Division III, decided 3/10/2020

    Issue Presented: Whether law enforcement must offer a breath test prior to obtaining a SW for blood.

    Answer: No

    Author’s Notes: We already had Entzell that held similarly. However, this is a solid win for us. Even though it is unpublished, we may attach it to briefing and cite to it under GR 14.1. Do not abuse this holding however; advise officers to explain the reason they went outside ICW; there is always a reason; e.g., thought it was drugs, serious injury to others, child in the car, language barriers, impairment inconsistent with blow, noncooperative (although easy to offer breath if know they will refuse), serious property damage, IID required, sophisticated defendant/priors, refused FSTs, need for medical treatment, etc.

    Facts:

    Stenberg stopped for traffic violation, LEO smelled odor of intox from breath, conducted FSTs, and obtained a SW for blood. Results were BAC of .18 g/100mL. Stenberg moved to suppress arguing 4th A and Art 1, Sect 7, and ICW.

    Shergur stopped for traffic infraction, odor of into from breath, conducted FSTs, and obtained a SW; BAC of .16. Shergur moved to suppress for same reasons.

    Analysis:

    • ICW (RCW 46.20.308)) section (4) clearly contemplates allowing a search for blood; Seattle v. St. John- “an officer may obtain a blood alcohol test pursuant to a warrant regardless of the implied consent statute.”
    • Defense argued that both Schmerber and Birchfield required the LEO to offer a breath test first; Court held that LEOs complied with state and federal constitutional requirements by obtaining warrants for the blood draws.


  • Monday, February 17, 2020 8:36 AM | Anonymous member

    In State v. Jieta, the defendant was charged with malicious mischief in district court.  Over the next 15 months that court attempted 14 different pretrial hearings.  The problem was the Marshallese interpreter failed to appear by phone or in person repeatedly.  Of the 14 pretrials, the interpreter failed to appear 10 times.  On the defense motion, the trial court found CrRLJ 8.3 applied to the court as well as to the prosecution and that the mismanagement affected the defendant's rights.  The trial court dismissed the charges.  On appeal, the Superior Court affirmed and the Court of Appeals agreed.  The court is subject to CrRLJ 8.3 for mismanagement along with the prosecution.   

    Whether the proper remedy for violation is dismissal remains an open question.  The COA declined to review that question.  

    State v. Jieta (2020)

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