Wolfley Law Office, P.S.713 E 1st Street
Port Angeles, WA 98362
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Telephone: (360) 457-2794
Fax : (360) 457-2045
Office HoursMon - Friday
9 am - 12 pm
Closed for Lunch
1 pm - 5 pm
DUI Case Dismissed
STATE v. BATEY – Case Dismissed
Mr. Batey left the casino one afternoon, heading east. A State Trooper spotted him leaving, recognized him, and decided to follow to see if he might be under the influence. The Trooper tailed Mr. Batey almost to the county line. He could not see any weaving, line crossing, or other indications of influence. Still, he turned on his lights and pulled Mr. Batey over just passed the county line.
He smelled alcohol and had Mr. Batey take the breathalyzer. He determined that Mr. Batey was under the influence and arrested him. He later wrote in his probable cause statement that Mr. Batey was pulled over because his muffler was too loud.
Joseph Wolfley brought a motion to suppress any evidence after the stop because the stop itself was pretextual; there was no probable cause to stop and arrest Mr. Batey in the first place.
At the hearing Mr. Wolfley invited the judge to walk down to the parking lot to actually hear the defendant’s muffler. The judge did. It was an uncanny thing, but as the judge exited the building a huge, shiny, brand-new F350 passed in front of the courthouse with one of the loudest mufflers as ever growled through downtown Port Angeles.
The judge admitted that he thought that might be the vehicle until he turned to the left and saw the defendant sitting in his little 1991 Ford Ranger purring away quietly. The judge asked Mr. Batey to rev his vehicle up to high rpm, but it was just as quiet as a muffler can be. The judge peaked under the truck to see that the muffler was old and unrepaired.
Then, we all went back up to the courtroom where the judge suppressed all the evidence for lack of probable cause, effectively ending the case.