Incentives for Officers to Make DUI Arrests in Washington State

For several years, the attorneys at Veitch Ault Defense have suspected that various Washington State law enforcement agencies used “DUI Quotas.” Specifically, officers responsible for traffic enforcement were “encouraged” to make a certain number of DUI arrests per night, month, etc… If DUI arrests in similar jurisdictions are significantly lower than others, the notion that certain police departments aren’t working hard enough to reduce Washington State drunk driving is created. As a possible result, various types of funding may become unavailable to certain police departments. The following article is from Fayetteville, Texas, where a DUI arrestee was acquitted of DUI after a jury was informed that the arresting officer was a part of a DUI enforcement program that “recommended two traffic stops per hour” and “one DUI arrest per eight-hour shift.”

In this case, the Fayetteville Police Department had been receiving federal funding through a grant program called the Selective Enforcement Traffic Program (STEP). While the police chief testified in trial that there were “performance expectation[s],” these were not, in fact, a “quota.”

In addition to the notion of “quotas” relative to federal funding is the fact that if law enforcement officers aren’t making a significant number of DUI arrests, there isn’t a need to employ as many cops. It’s hard to think of a greater incentive for law enforcement officers to make Washington State DUI arrests than that of “job security.”

The attorneys at Veitch Ault Defense focus in the defense of DUI and other serious traffic violations. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Washington State, contact Veitch Ault Defense immediately (425) 307-5515 to make sure one is given the best chance possible to defend themselves.


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