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WPIC 95.10 Willful—Wanton—Definition—Reckless Driving

11A WAPRAC WPIC 95.10Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal

11A Wash. Prac., Pattern Jury Instr. Crim. WPIC 95.10 (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 95.10 Willful—Wanton—Definition—Reckless Driving
Willful means acting intentionally and purposely, and not accidentally or inadvertently.
Wanton means acting intentionally in heedless disregard of the consequences and under such surrounding circumstances and conditions that a reasonable person would know or have reason to know that such conduct would, in a high degree of probability, harm a person or property.
Use this instruction only with WPIC 95.02 (Reckless Driving—Elements) or WPIC 94.02 (Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle—Elements). For attempting to elude a police vehicle, this instruction applies only for offenses committed before the effective date of the 2003 statutory amendment.
The words “willful” and “wanton” are used in the definition for the offense of reckless driving. See RCW 46.61.500. Until 2003, they were also used in the definition of attempting to elude a police vehicle. See former RCW 46.61.024 (amended in 2003 to instead use the phrase “reckless manner,” see Laws of 2003, Chapter 101, § 1 (effective July 27, 2003)). See further discussion in the Comment to WPIC 94.02 (Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle—Elements).
The term willful is defined in several other contexts. See State v. Bixby, 27 Wn.2d 144, 160, 177 P.2d 689 (1947) (discussing the meaning of willfully in subornation of perjury); State v. Travis, 1 Wn.App. 971, 975, 465 P.2d 209 (1970) (discussing the meaning of willfully in resisting arrest); State v. Evans, 32 Wn.2d 278, 201 P.2d 513 (1949) (addressing the meaning of willfully in second degree assault). See also the Comment to WPIC 120.02.01 (Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer—Willfully—Definition).
As used in the reckless driving statute, the term “willful or wanton” does not require that the life or property endangered be that of another person. State v. Amurri, 51 Wn.App. 262, 266–67, 753 P.2d 540 (1988). The last clause of the instruction therefore was changed from “harm the person or property of another” to “harm a person or property.”
In Adkisson v. City of Seattle, 42 Wn.2d 676, 258 P.2d 461 (1953), the court defined and distinguished willful and wanton misconduct in a civil action for wrongful death.
[Current as of February 2020.]
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