On December 11, 2021, at approximately 2:48 a.m., Officer Joseph Geil with the Pullman Police Department was dispatched to the Taco Bell restaurant at 425 NE Stadium Way in Pullman, Washington to reports of a female who had fallen asleep in the Taco Bell drive-thru. The woman was briefly woken up when the 911 caller had knocked on her window, but she soon went back to sleep. To mitigate against the possibility of harassment, the driver will be referred to as “the driver” or similar in the narrative that follows.
From the report of Officer Geil, lightly edited for brevity: “I arrived at Taco Bell and started walking toward the drive-thru and was pointed toward a silver 2001 Honda CRV. I approached the vehicle and observed its driver asleep in the driver’s seat with the vehicle running. I knocked several times and asked the driver to roll her window down. The driver woke up and appeared confused, and then appeared to wave me off.
I knocked on the driver’s window again, asking her to roll the window down. She opened the door. I observed that the vehicle was in neutral and told the driver to place the car in park. I was getting a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her. I observed the driver’s eyes were red, watery, and bloodshot, and her face appeared droopy. She appeared to be having a hard time understanding my instructions. I observed an open case of beer in the back seat and an open beer can in the cup holder adjacent to her. The driver placed her hands on the steering wheel as if she was going to drive away. I reached in, placed the car in park, turned the vehicle off, and dropped the car keys by her feet. The driver’s pupils appeared dilated.
I asked the driver what was going on. She said she was trying to go home. I asked her to step outside of the vehicle. She said okay and then tried to shut the door on me. She began trying to start her car without her keys, placing her hands where the keys would be and making a turning motion near the ignition, and then placed her hands on the steering wheel as if to drive away. I told her again to step outside of the vehicle, asking her several times. She said that she was ready, then grabbed her keys and appeared to try to find the key to start the vehicle with. I told the driver that she was under arrest and grabbed her wrist and her right shoulder gently encouraging her outside her vehicle. WSU Sgt. Kurht assisted me in getting her outside of the vehicle. Once the driver was outside the vehicle she became compliant. I placed the driver into handcuffs and checked for a good fit.
WSU Sgt. Kuhrt asked the driver if he could park the car, she said yes. I asked how much she had to drink. She told me “Not much, honestly”. When asked why she fell asleep at the wheel at Taco Bell, she said it had been a hectic week with finals and she was tired. When asked about the beer in her cupholder she said it wasn’t hers. She then said it was hers from two days ago and then told me it wasn’t hers again or something to that effect. I asked the driver if she would be willing to perform some voluntary field sobriety tests to which she agreed. I took the driver out of handcuffs.
HGN: I observed lack of smooth pursuit in the driver’s left and right eyes. She moved her head several times throughout the test. At times she would stop looking at my stimulus, look at me, and look back at the stimulus.
WAT: The driver had issues with balance while in the starting position, and had trouble getting into the starting position. She used her arms for balance while walking and stopped walking during the test. On her 9th step, instead of turning she began walking slowly backwards.
OLS: The driver began walking forward while counting out loud. I stopped her, gave her the instructions again. During the test, Ofc. Emerson had to remind her to lift her foot at least six inches off the ground. Several times during the test she raised her eyes from her foot and look straight ahead. She swayed while balancing.
PBT: I asked the driver if she was willing to provide a breath sample. She agreed. The driver provided a PBT of .249% at approximately 3:09 a.m.
It was my opinion that the driver was impaired. I placed her under arrest for DUI and transported her to the Pullman Police Department.”
@What You Haven’t Seen