Bellevue police officer Andrew Hanke has been charged with a misdemeanor DUI. Hanke was pulled over by an unidentified off-duty cop in late November for erratic driving, reports the Seattle Times. At the time of the stop, the off-duty cop did not arrest Hanke. Instead, he allowed one of Hanke's relatives to drive him home. Now both the officer who made the stop and Hanke may be in trouble.
Hanke has had a series of drinking related incidents. In 2012, he was one of two Bellevue police officers who drunkenly confronted a female police officer and several other fans following a Seattle Seahawks game. Hanke allegedly told an investigator that he was too drunk at the time to remember driving home from the game. For that incident, Hanke was placed on administrative leave but did not face criminal punishment.
However, Hanke will likely not get off so easy in this case if prosecutors convict him of the DUI. Despite not being arrested, Hanke can still face criminal punishment and could face possible jail time, fines, and administrative penalties.
Along with Hanke, the officer who made the traffic stop could also face punishment. Because the officer did not arrest Hanke and allowed him to go home, one can guess that the officer gave preferential treatment to Hanke for being a police officer. This kind of favoritism is not allowed. Police officers are supposed to use objective decision-making. While the officer likely will not face criminal penalties, he may be placed on leave or face other penalties at the department.
If you drink and drive, you can be charged with a DUI regardless of who you are, who you know, or where you work. However, you should be aware that being charged with a DUI does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of a crime. To learn your options and defenses, contact an experienced DUI attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense. Schedule a consultation with an advocate by calling 425-284-2000.