Late last year, a local news outlet reported on the arrest of a prosecutor from the Washington State Attorney General's Office. The prosecutor was pulled over in at around 3:00 in the morning for failing to move over for an emergency vehicle. Law enforcement officers smelled alcohol from inside the vehicle, and noted that the prosecutor was slurring his words and fumbling with things he handled. He initially informed the officers who stopped him that he had not consumed any alcohol that evening, but he refused to take a sobriety test multiple times, and was placed under arrest for a suspected DUI.
Upon being taken to the Tacoma Police Department, the prosecutor refused to take a breathalyzer test, asserting that he had first-hand knowledge of the inaccuracy of such tests. The arresting officer then sent a search warrant request for a blood draw to Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson. The request included all evidence of suspected DUI: slow, slurred speech, obvious odor of intoxicants, fumbling movements, and bloodshot, watery eyes.
Despite all of this evidence, Judge Cuthbertson denied the request, stating he did not find adequate cause for a blood draw. The arresting officer requested a conference call with Judge Cuthbertson, who stated that he knew the suspect because he had been a Pierce County prosecutor before moving up to the Attorney General's Office. At first, the judge offered potential reasons which might explain the evidence, including that he's a workaholic, and that eyes can sometimes naturally be bloodshot at that time of night. Despite all of this, the judge finally agreed via email to the request. The suspect, however, refused to comply with the blood draw warrant. He became combative, and it took 4 officers to restrain him, and he ultimately had to be handcuffed to a hospital bed in order to conduct the blood draw. By the time the draw was successfully completed, hours had passed since the initial arrest, allowing him the time to decrease his blood alcohol content.
Despite the reports of how the arrest was handled, it was unclear whether or not at the time of publication.The Washington State Attorney General's Office has issued a statement that the prosecutor no longer works there. It was unclear if he left if his own volition or was fired.
If you have been charged with DUI offense in Washington, you derserve a process that is fair and unbiased. You also deserve a dedicated advocate. Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi at 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form today.