Seattle DUI arrest by WSP?

Most people know that police power to make an arrest is usually limited by the jurisdiction served by the agency. In other words, ordinarily, a Seattle DUI Squad police officer cannot patrol and make a DUI arrest in the City of Bellevue. In the usual case, a Seattle DUI arrest is made only by a Seattle police officer, and a Bellevue DUI arrest would only be made by a Bellevue police officer. There are exceptions, such as when an arrest is made pursuant to a valid interjurisdictional agreement. A different situation is presented, however, when a Seattle DUI arrest is made by the Washington State Patrol. Most of the time a WSP Seattle DUI arrest would occur on a freeway passing through Seattle, and nobody quarrels with the authority of the State Patrol to patrol freeways as it is universally understood that the Washington State Patrol has the authority to patrol the highways. However, occasionally a Seattle DUI arrest will be made by a WSP trooper on a Seattle city street. This strikes many people as being “outside of the jurisdiction” of the Washington State Patrol. However, by statute, a Seattle DUI arrest made by a Washington state patrol trooper on a Seattle city street would be authorized pursuant to RCW 43.43.030 which simply states:

Powers and duties — Peace officers.

The chief and other officers of the Washington state patrol shall have and exercise, throughout the state, such police powers and duties as are vested in sheriffs and peace officers generally, and such other powers and duties as are prescribed by law.
Whenever a Seattle DUI arrest occurs, and in any Washington state DUI arrest, our firm will investigate to determine the basis of a challenge to the jurisdiction and authority of the officer making the DUI stop. Our firm can be reached at (425) 451-1995 or contact us online.