A man in Wapato is under fire for an alleged DUI incident, according to local sources. Washington State authorities allege the man led them on a "chase" before being arrested on May 23. He will now face drunk driving charges as well as several other charges associated with the incident. No court date has been announced at this time.
Police have reported the 55-year-old man was being pursued by law enforcement around 11:30 p.m. for reasons that are currently unknown. The apparent chase was brought to an abrupt end when the man reportedly turned into an orchard and crashed his vehicle in a canal. He was subsequently extricated from his vehicle and arrested, though it is unclear whether he suffered any injuries in the crash.
Several details are missing from the report, including the reason the alleged chase was initiated. Attending police officers also did not make clear how they determined the man was driving under the influence, as no mention was made of a roadside sobriety test or blood test to corroborate the charge. The absence of such critical evidence could make it difficult for prosecutors to achieve a conviction.
Washington law requires competent and relevant evidence to support drunk driving charges. Even if this evidence is presented by the prosecution, the defense may wish to examine it to determine if any roadside sobriety test or blood test was conducted in accordance with the law and within the bounds of the man's personal rights. If his legal rights were violated at any stage of the arrest process, the evidence gained as a result could be rendered inadmissible in the coming criminal court proceedings.
Source: kimatv.com, "Wapato man faces DUI charge after Lower Valley chase", May 23, 2015