DUI & DWIClients’ ChoiceAward 2012-2019

WA Supreme Court Reverses "No Signal Required" Verdict

WA Supreme Court Reverses "No Signal Required" Verdict

This is an update on Washington Appellant Court, Division 3 Finds That "No Signal Is Required When Turning From Designated Turn Lane" posted January 2019.

In January 2019, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division Three dismissed a DUI case based upon a stop predicated upon a driver’s failure to activate a signal once in a designated turn lane. The Washington State Supreme Court reviewed this case and in December 2019 REVERSED the Lower Court of Appeals Decision making this interpretation of the Statute the law of the law of land for Washington State.

We are asked to decide whether the phrase "when required" in ROW 46.61.305(2) compels drivers to use their signal every time they turn or change lanes on a roadway. We hold that it does. The plain language of ROW 46.61.305 requires drivers to ensure turns and lane changes are done safely and with an appropriate turn signal. ROW 46.61.305(1). The phrase "when required" relates to the manner in which the required signal is made—continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled. ROW 46.61.305(l)-(2). Because David Brown did not signal continuously while his vehicle turned left through an intersection, he violated RCW 46.61.305.

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