Burien City Manager Mike Martin Granted Deferred Prosecution In DUI Charge 3by Ralph Nichols

Burien City Manager Mike Martin on Tuesday (June 23rd) was granted a deferred prosecution (download court doc as a PDF here) on a DUI charge (driving under the influence) by King County District Court Judge Eileen Kato.

Martin, 55, must complete a two-year alcohol treatment program at Highline Medical Center, and will remain on probation and under court supervision for five years.

In petitioning the court for the deferred prosecution, Martin agreed that police reports of an April 19 one-car accident in which he was the driver included “sufficient evidence” to establish probable cause that he was impaired at the time. He also agreed to participate in alcohol treatment.

Martin must attend at least two meetings a week in the treatment program for two years, follow all prescribed programs, totally abstain from alcohol and non-prescribed drugs for five years, and not refuse to take Breathalyzer or blood-alcohol tests on request.

He will be allowed to drive if he has a valid driver’s license and car insurance, but only with an interlock device in any vehicle he operates that will prevent the engine from starting if he has been drinking alcohol.

Court costs and program fees that he must pay total about $2,500.

If Martin successfully completes alcohol treatment and complies with all other mandates of the deferred prosecution as ordered by Judge Kato, this infraction will be removed from his record.

“I am optimistic that you will successfully complete the program,” the judge told Martin upon granting the deferred prosecution.

According to Pierce College’s Chemical Dependency Studies program website:

The legislature finds that the deferred prosecution program is an alternative to punishment for persons who will benefit from a treatment program if the treatment program is provided under circumstances that do not unreasonably endanger public safety or the traditional goals of the criminal justice system. This alternative to punishment is dependent for success upon appropriate treatment and the willingness and ability of the person receiving treatment to cooperate fully with the treatment program. The legislature finds that some persons have sought deferred prosecution but have been unable or unwilling to cooperate with treatment requirements and escaped punishment because of the difficulties in resuming prosecution after significant delay due to the absence of witnesses at a later date and the congestion in courts at a later date. The legislature further finds that the deferred prosecution statutes require clarification. The purpose of sections 4 through 19 of this act is to provide specific standards and procedures for judges and prosecutors to use in carrying out the original intent of the deferred prosecution statutes.”

“Deferred prosecution is a true intervention initiative.  It recognizes that crisis is often the best incentive to motivate changes in behavior or confront dysfunctional or unhealthy life-styles.  It also recognizes the disease nature of chemical addictions, and the “loss of control” that accompanies chemical dependency and many mental health diagnoses.

However, because it is unique, deferred prosecution is also controversial.  It has evolved over time, changing to reflect public values, and many times facing the prospect of repeal.  Today, deferred prosecution remains one of the primary policy tools for encouraging alcoholics and other drug addicts to seek treatment, accounting for over one-third of the referrals resulting from an arrest for Driving While Under the Influence (DUI).”

Martin was arrested for DUI on April 19th after his vehicle left the road and struck a ceramic pot in a yard in Burien. He has been city manager since November 2006, and his yearly salary is $135,180.

On May 11th, his contract was amended by the city of Burien with strict “alcohol-related conditions” (download and view the PDF here). The City Council approved the contract revision on a 5-1 vote.

Under the terms of Martin’s revised contract, he “will not report to work at the city or remain at work or on duty while under the influence of alcohol,” which is defined as a blood alcohol level of .02 percent or above.

Martin is also required by the city to submit to random alcohol testing without prior notice to ensure compliance with this condition. In addition, he is to submit to alcohol testing at the request of the mayor (or deputy mayor in the mayor’s absence) and one other council member if there is a good-faith “articulated suspicion by any person that the manager has reported to work or remained at work under the influence of

On May 15th, he entered a plea of not guilty to the DUI charge and Judge Kato then scheduled Tuesday’s pretrial hearing.