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70.96A.110  <<  70.96A.120 >>   70.96A.140

RCW 70.96A.120

Treatment programs and facilities — Admissions — Peace officer duties — Protective custody.

(1) An intoxicated person may come voluntarily to an approved treatment program for treatment. A person who appears to be intoxicated in a public place and to be in need of help, if he or she consents to the proffered help, may be assisted to his or her home, an approved treatment program or other health facility.

     (2) Except for a person who may be apprehended for possible violation of laws not relating to alcoholism, drug addiction, or intoxication and except for a person who may be apprehended for possible violation of laws relating to driving or being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug and except for a person who may wish to avail himself or herself of the provisions of RCW 46.20.308, a person who appears to be incapacitated or gravely disabled by alcohol or other drugs and who is in a public place or who has threatened, attempted, or inflicted physical harm on himself, herself, or another, shall be taken into protective custody by a peace officer or staff designated by the county and as soon as practicable, but in no event beyond eight hours brought to an approved treatment program for treatment. If no approved treatment program is readily available he or she shall be taken to an emergency medical service customarily used for incapacitated persons. The peace officer or staff designated by the county, in detaining the person and in taking him or her to an approved treatment program, is taking him or her into protective custody and shall make every reasonable effort to protect his or her health and safety. In taking the person into protective custody, the detaining peace officer or staff designated by the county may take reasonable steps including reasonable force if necessary to protect himself or herself or effect the custody. A taking into protective custody under this section is not an arrest. No entry or other record shall be made to indicate that the person has been arrested or charged with a crime.

     (3) A person who comes voluntarily or is brought to an approved treatment program shall be examined by a qualified person. He or she may then be admitted as a patient or referred to another health facility, which provides emergency medical treatment, where it appears that such treatment may be necessary. The referring approved treatment program shall arrange for his or her transportation.

     (4) A person who is found to be incapacitated or gravely disabled by alcohol or other drugs at the time of his or her admission or to have become incapacitated or gravely disabled at any time after his or her admission, may not be detained at the program for more than seventy-two hours after admission as a patient, unless a petition is filed under RCW 70.96A.140, as now or hereafter amended: PROVIDED, That the treatment personnel at an approved treatment program are authorized to use such reasonable physical restraint as may be necessary to retain an incapacitated or gravely disabled person for up to seventy-two hours from the time of admission. The seventy-two hour periods specified in this section shall be computed by excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. A person may consent to remain in the program as long as the physician in charge believes appropriate.

     (5) A person who is not admitted to an approved treatment program, is not referred to another health facility, and has no funds, may be taken to his or her home, if any. If he or she has no home, the approved treatment program shall provide him or her with information and assistance to access available community shelter resources.

     (6) If a patient is admitted to an approved treatment program, his or her family or next of kin shall be notified as promptly as possible by the treatment program. If an adult patient who is not incapacitated requests that there be no notification, his or her request shall be respected.

     (7) The peace officer, staff designated by the county, or treatment facility personnel, who act in compliance with this chapter and are performing in the course of their official duty are not criminally or civilly liable therefor.

     (8) If the person in charge of the approved treatment program determines that appropriate treatment is available, the patient shall be encouraged to agree to further diagnosis and appropriate voluntary treatment.

[1991 c 290 § 6; 1990 c 151 § 8; 1989 c 271 § 306; 1987 c 439 § 13; 1977 ex.s. c 62 § 1; 1974 ex.s. c 175 § 1; 1972 ex.s. c 122 § 12.]

Notes:

     Severability -- 1989 c 271: See note following RCW 9.94A.510.