A few weeks ago I was in motions for a Seattle DUI case. The case was before the Honorable Karen Donohue of the Seattle Municipal Court. One of the several motions I had noted was to suppress the results of the blood draw based on a violation of CrRLJ 2.3. In particular, I moved to suppress the blood draw results for the Seattle DUI case based on the manner in which the arresting officer obtained a telephonic warrant authorizing him to obtain a blood sample from the accused after they had already declined the test.
CrRLJ 2.3 provides authority and the requirements for issuance of a search warrant that is supported by either a declaration under RCW 9a.72.085, an affidavit or sworn testimony. CrRLJ 2.3 requires that the sworn testimony must be in writing, recorded electronically or otherwised preserved. In the present case, the Officer failed to submit a properly subscribed affidavit to the Court Commissioner. And while the Seattle Police officer recalls being sworn in over the telephone, he did not have any specific memory as to the nature of his testimony nor was it ever recorded.
Judge Donohue found that the City failed to meet it’s burden of proof in complying with CrRLJ 2.3 and suppressed the results of the blood draw. Other judges in Seattle Municipal Court have suppressed blood results based on this same issue. While this does not mean that the DUI charge is dismissed (as the City can still proceed with a DUI charge without the blood results), it dramatically affects a person’s Seattle DUI case.