Friday, June 10, 2005

Wash. DUI arrest in Idaho OK, blood alcohol test admissible

[CASE] An officer found Monte Richie, severely injured, on the ground near his truck, in Asotin County (in the SE corner of the state). Mr. Richie was taken to a regional hospital across the border in Idaho. In the hospital, a Washington trooper investigating the accident arrested him for DUI and had a phlebotomist draw his blood to be tested in the toxicology lab.

Mr. Richie appealed the administrative suspension of his driver's license.

After discussing the Idaho hot pursuit statute and Washington caselaw, Division 3 concluded:

¶ 16 Considering the law and our unique facts, we clarify Clarkston and hold that pursuing Washington officers may effectuate a lawful arrest in Idaho for DUI if reasonable suspicion exists to believe the suspect may have been driving under the influence in Washington before the officer pursues the suspect into Idaho. Accordingly, we decline the State's invitation to overturn Clarkston, because its holding is based upon distinguishable facts, even if its legal reasoning may be capable of misinterpretation as suggested by the State.
*4 ¶ 17 [The trooper's] accident investigation revealed Mr. Richie was involved in an accident with facts indicative of drinking and driving. * * * The Idaho statute merely requires a belief that an individual has committed a felony, not probable cause. * * * [The trooper] had reason to believe Mr. Richie was a DUI suspect prior to "pursuing" him into Idaho. * * * Trooper Bancroft properly established probable cause for arrest.
The court found that the state had prima facie shown the Idaho phlebotomist to be qualified and Richie had refuted the prima facie case.

In re Richie, --- P.3d ---, 2005 WL 1330657 (Wash. App. June 7, 2005), Find Result - 2005 WL 1330657.

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