Earlier this month the Washington State Patrol proclaimed that drivers are refusing to stop for state law enforcement agents at unprecedented levels. Could these failures to stop be connected to last year’s passage of House Bill 1054, which, among other things, barred high-speed pursuits except in very limited circumstances? Probably, yes.
HB 1054 included a broad package of police reforms that were passed after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The reforms were aimed at addressing racial dis-proportionality in policing.
Under Washington’s new law, police officers can’t give chase unless there’s reasonable suspicion to believe a driver is impaired, or there is a probable cause to believe the driver is an escaped felon or has committed a violent crime or a sex offense. An officer must consider whether a person poses an “imminent threat” and whether the safety risks of the person getting away outweighs the danger of engaging in an actual high-speed chase.
It will be interesting to see how things shape up. Often, there is a correction period with any new law. So perhaps, the increased level of fleeing drivers will eventually die down after officer determine how to best implement their authority in light of the reform addressing racial dis-proportionality in policing.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a traffic offense, immediately contact a Seattle Traffic Attorney. A Seattle Traffic lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Traffic Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Traffic Lawyer as soon as possible. A traffic offense can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a criminal traffic offense in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Traffic Lawyer. The Seattle Traffic attorney team at SQ Attorneys is here to help – (206) 441-0900 or (425) 359-3791.