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DUI Case Law

Below is a list of case law possibly applicable to your Seattle DUI arrest, compiled by Seattle DUI Lawyer, Nate Webb via his experience in the courtroom and writing and researching for the past ten years.

Corpus Delicti (Latin for "Body of the crime" - essentially, this means can the government prove you were driving):

  • State v. Hamrick, 19 Wn.App. 417 (1978).
  • State v. Ray, 130 Wn.2d 673 (1996).
  • State v. Aten, 130 Wn2d. 640 (1996).
  • Bremerton v. Corbett, 106 Wn.2d 569 (1986).
  • State v. Neslund, 50 Wn.App. 531 (1988).

Reasonable Suspicion to Stop (the officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion to suspect you of eithe a traffic violation or criminal activity to stop you for an alleged DUI):

  • State v. Hobart, 94 Wn.2d 437 (1980)
  • State v. Gluck, 83 Wn.2d 424 (1974).
  • State v. Vandover, 63 Wn.App. 754; 822 P.2d 784 (1992).
  • State v. Stroud, 30 Wn.App. 392; 634 P.2d 316 (1981).
  • State v. Prado, 186 P.3d 1186 (WA 2008).

Unlawful Detention (did the officer have legal authority to detain you further in suspicion of something further than for why you were stopped - in the DUI context, does she/he have some suspicion of impairment by drugs or alcohol):

  • Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).
  • Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1978).
  • Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 43 U.S. 106 (1977).
  • United States v. Brignoni‑Ponce, 422 U.S. 873 (1977).
  • State v. Scott, 93 Wn.2d 7 (1980).
  • Florida v. Royer, 446 U.S. 544 (1983).
  • State v. Williams, 102 Wash. 2d 733 (1984).
  • U.S. v. Sharpe, 470 U.S. 675, 84 L.Ed2d 605, 105 S.Ct. 1568 (1985).
  • U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 45 L.Ed 2d 607, 95 S.Ct 2574.
  • Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 32 L.Ed 2d 612, 92 S.Ct. 1921 (1972).

Probable Cause to Arrest (in determining whether an officer had probable cause for an arrest, the court looks at the facts and circumstances known to the officer or of which he has reasonably trustworthy information):

  • Bokor v. DOL, 74 Wn.App. 523 (1994).
  • State v. Fricks, 91 Wn.2d 391, 398 (1979).
  • Watkins v. Department of Licensing, 33 Wn.App. 853, 856, 658 P.2d 53 (1983).
  • U.S. v. Ortiz, 422 U.S. 891, 897-98, 45 L.Ed.2d 623, 95 S.Ct. 2585 (1975).
  • Brinegar v. U.S., 338 U.S. 160, 175, 93 L.Ed. 1879, 69 S.Ct. 1302 (1949).
  • State v. Scott, 93 Wn.2d 7, 10-11, 604 P.2d 943 (1980).
  • Wong Sun v. U.S., 371 U.S. 471, 481-82, 9 L.Ed.2d 441, 83 S.Ct. 407 (1963).

Suppression of Field Sobriety Tests or Refusal to Participate in FSTs (In Washington State field sobriety tests are voluntary and cannot be compelled, that is, you must consent to them.  Washington Courts have not determined whether they are a search under the Fourth Amendment or Article I Section 7 of the Washington State Constitution, so this is always an issue for argument):

  • City of Seattle v. Stalsbroten, 138 Wn.2d 227 (1999).
  • Seattle v. Personeous, 63 Wn.App. 461 (1991).
  • State v. Myrick, 102 Wn.2d 506, 688 P.2d 151 (1984).
  • Seattle v. Messiani, 110 Wn.2d 454 (1988).
  • State v. Zwicker, 105 Wn.2d 228 (1986).
  • State v. Chavez, 629 P.2d 1242 (N.M. App. 1981).
  • People v. Carlson, 677 P.2d 310 (Colo. 1984).
  • People v. Sporleder, 666 P.2d 135, 143-144 (Colo. 1983).
  • State v. Gauthier, 298 P.3d 126 (2013).

Suppression of BAC or Blood Results or Refusal of BAC (did the officer follow protocol for administration of the breath test or if the subject refused, can the government offer that refusal as evidence of a guilty conscious, was the BAC video destroyed, etc.):

  • Seattle v. Fettig, 10 Wn. App. 773, 775-776 (1974).
  • State v. Wright, 87 Wn.2d 783 (1976).
  • State v. Spurgeon, 63 Wn.App. 503 (Div. 1 1991).
  • Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).
  • United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976).
  • State v. Judge, 100 Wn.2d 706 (1984).
  • State v. Blackwell, 120 Wn.2d 822 (1993).
  • State v. Vaster, 99 Wn.2d 44 (1983).
  • State v. Burden, 104 Wn.App. (Div. 2 2001).
  • Arizona v. Youngblood, 488 U.S. 51 (1988).
  • State v. Wittenbarger, 124 Wn.2d 467, 481 (1994).
  • State v. Jones, 26 Wn. App. 551, 554, 614 P.2d 190 (1980).
  • State v. Hall, 22 Wn. App. 862, 866-67, 593 P.2d 554 (1979)). 

Implied Consent Warning issues (did the officer summarize these warnings or fail to read them or leave out an important portion, etc.):

  • Strand v. DMV, 8 Wash.App. 877, 883 (1973).
  • Thompson v. DOL, 138 Wn.2d 783 (1999).
  • Gonzales v. DOL, 112 Wn.2d 890.
  • State v. Whitman Cy. Dist. Ct., 105 Wash.2d 278, 281, 714 P.2d 1183 (1986).
  • Connolly v. Department of Motor Vehicles, 79 Wash.2d 500, 504, 487 P.2d 1050 (1971).
  • Welch v. Department of Motor Vehicles, 13 Wash.App. 591, 592, 536 P.2d 172 (1975).
  • State v. Bostrom, 127 Wn.2d 580 (Wash. 1995).

Denial of Right to Counsel/Eavesdropping (did the officer fail to get you into touch with an attorney when you requested; did the officer fail to put you into touch with someone who could explain your rights in your primary language, did the officer eavesdrop on your conversation, etc.):

  • State v. Prok, 709 P.2d 401, 42 Wn. App. 166 (1985).
  • Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 471, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 10 A.L.R.3d 974 (1966).
  • State v. Fitzsimmons, 93 Wn. 2d 436 (1980).
  • Spokane v. Kruger, 116 Wn. 2d 135 (1991).
  • Seattle v. Koch, 53 Wn.App. 352 (1989).
  • Seattle v. Box, 29 Wn.App. 109 (1981).
  • State v. Barnes, 85 Wn. App. 638, 655, 932 P.2d 669 (1997).
  • State v. Blackwell, 120 Wn.2d 822, 830-831, 845 P.2d 1017 (1993).
  • State v. Michielli, 132 Wn.2d 229, 239-40, 937 P.2d 587 (1997).
  • State v. Myhre, 32 Wn. App. 661, 648 P.2d 912 (1982).
  • State v. Cory , 62 Wn.2d 371 (1963).
  • City of Tacoma v. Heater, 67 Wn.2d 733 (1966).
  • State v. Fuentes, ___ Wash. ____ (Feb. 6, 2014).

Safely Off the Roadway Defense (if you were charged with Physical Control did you move your vehicle safely off the roadway prior to being pursued by law enforcement, if so, you have an affirmative defense, provided the law enforcement nor anyone saw you drive the vehicle - essentially, if you have realized you are in no shape to drive after starting to do so and stop so that you can take a cab, sleep it off or otherwise discontinue driving, this affirmative defense is availalbe to your defense - see RCW 46.61.504 (2) "No person may be convicted under this section if, prior to being pursued by a law enforcement officer, the person has moved the vehicle safely off the roadway."):

  • State v. Votova, 149 Wn.2d 178, 66 P.3d 1050 (Wash. 2003).
  • City of Spokane v. Beck, 123 P.3d 854, 130 Wn.App. 481 (Wash.App. Div. 3 2005).
  • City of Tacoma v. Belasco, 56 P.3d 618, 114 Wn.App. 211 (Wash.App. 2002).

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree/Exclusionary Rule (was the evidence gathered in a tainted way, that is, for example without probable cause or without a requried warrant, if so, it is to be excluded):

  • United States v. Calandra, 414 U. S. 338, 347 (1974).
  • Stone v. Powell, 428 U. S. 465, 490-491 (1976).
  • Nix v. Williams, 467 U. S. 431, 442-443 (1984).

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