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WPI 12.01.01 Driver's Intoxication—Plaintiff Passenger's Knowledge

6 WAPRAC WPI 12.01.01Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6 Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 12.01.01 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part II. Negligence—Risk—Misconduct—Proximate Cause
Chapter 12. Specific Factors Affecting Negligence and Contributory Negligence
WPI 12.01.01 Driver's Intoxication—Plaintiff Passenger's Knowledge
If you find that:
(1) a driver was intoxicated from the use of alcohol or drugs; and
(2) the plaintiff voluntarily rode in the vehicle driven by such person after plaintiff knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known, of the driver's intoxication; and
(3) a reasonable person with such knowledge and using ordinary care for his or her own safety would not have ridden in the vehicle; and
(4) the driver's intoxication was a proximate cause of plaintiff's injury or damages;
then the plaintiff was contributorily negligent.
This instruction may be used whenever an issue is properly before the jury concerning the passenger's knowledge that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
RCW 5.40.060.
For a discussion of how this statute applies to an intoxicated plaintiff passenger, see the Comment to WPI 16.03 (Intoxication of Person Injured or Killed—Defense). See also WPI 12.01 (Voluntary Intoxication).
The fact that the driver has consumed alcohol does not automatically justify instructing the jury on the issue of the driver being under the influence of alcohol or on the passenger's knowledge thereof. See the Comment to WPI 12.01 (Voluntary Intoxication), for cases discussing the sufficiency of evidence to take the issue of driver's intoxication to the jury.
A passenger's knowledge before entering the car that the driver had been drinking alcohol does not necessarily charge the passenger as a matter of law with knowledge that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. Whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol and whether the passenger knew or should have known of the driver's intoxication are still questions for the jury. Miller v. Treat, 57 Wn.2d 524, 530, 358 P.2d 143 (1960); Traverso v. Pupo, 51 Wn.2d 149, 152–53, 316 P.2d 462 (1957); Wold v. Gardner, 167 Wash. 191, 194–96, 8 P.2d 975 (1932); Wold v. Gardner, 159 Wash. 665, 670–73, 294 P. 574 (1930). The duties of a passenger who obtains knowledge of the driver's condition after the journey has commenced are spelled out in Lambert v. Smith, 54 Wn.2d 348, 340 P.2d 774 (1959). See also Osborn v. Chapman, 62 Wn.2d 495, 497, 384 P.2d 117(1963), overruled on other grounds, Sorensen v. Estate of McDonald, 78 Wn.2d 103, 110, 470P.2d 206 (1970).
[Current as of September 2018.]
End of Document