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WPIC 95.05 Embracing—Inference of Reckless Driving

11A WAPRAC WPIC 95.05Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal

11A Wash. Prac., Pattern Jury Instr. Crim. WPIC 95.05 (5th Ed)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal
January 2024 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part XI. Crimes Involving Operation of Motor Vehicles
WPIC CHAPTER 95. Reckless Driving
WPIC 95.05 Embracing—Inference of Reckless Driving
A person who operates a motor vehicle upon a highway of this state while having another person in his or her embrace which prevents the free and unhampered operation of the vehicle may be inferred to have operated a motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
This inference is not binding upon you. You are to determine what weight, if any, to give this inference, based on a review of all the evidence in the case bearing on the issue of the defendant's driving.
This inference instruction is related to WPIC 95.02 (Reckless Driving—Elements). For a caution about instructing jurors about permissive inferences, see the Comment below.
RCW 46.61.665.
The statute provides that unlawful driving while embracing another is prima facie evidence of reckless driving. The pattern instruction uses the word “infer” rather than prima facie evidence. For a discussion of statutes addressing prima facie evidence, see the Comment to WPIC 94.04 (Excessive Speed—Inference of Driving in a Reckless Manner). The WPI Committee urges caution in the use of this instruction, as with other statutory inferences. For a discussion of inferences and presumptions generally, see the Comment to WPIC 6.25 (Presumed to Intend Natural Consequences of Acts).
The former version of this instruction referred to “reckless manner.” The holding of State v. Roggenkamp, 153 Wn.2d 614, 106 P.3d 196 (2005), mandates the change to the phrase “wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property” in the context of a reckless driving charge.
If needed for a particular case, an instruction defining highway may be drafted using the language from RCW 46.04.197.
[Current as of February 2020.]
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