State v. Chisholm

In State v. Chisholm, 39 Wn. App. 864, 696 P.2d 41 (1985), officers stopped a vehicle to warn defendant his hat was in jeopardy of blowing out of the bed of his pickup truck. When one officer approached the cab of the truck, he noticed an open can of beer between the driver and passenger. Knowing both driver and passenger to be minors, the officer arrested them, and in the search incident to arrest, discovered marijuana. The trial court suppressed the evidence of marijuana, holding the stop of the truck was improper because there was no evidence of criminal activity. The Court of Appeals reversed. The Chisholm court noted some examples of the community caretaking function in areas not dealing with automobiles: "Many communities look to their officers to assist citizens or render aid under a variety of circumstances. For example, officers often deliver emergency messages, give directions, search for lost children, assist stranded motorists and render first aid." Chisholm, 39 Wn. App. at 867 n.3.