ELUDING/(ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE) A (PEACE OFFICER)/(GAME RANGER) - ELEMENTS
No person may be convicted of eluding/(attempting to elude) a (peace officer)/(game ranger) unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:
First, a driver of a motor vehicle;
Second, received a red light and siren from a (peace officer)/(game ranger);
Third, showing the officer's/ranger's vehicle to be an official police/ sheriff/(highway patrol)/(State game ranger) vehicle and directing the driver to bring his/her vehicle to a stop; and
Fourth, willfully [eluded the officer/ranger]/[attempted to elude the officer/ ranger (by increasing his/her speed)/(extinguishing his/her lights)/(in any manner)].
Statutory Authority: 21 O.S. 1991, § 540A.
Notes on Use
This instruction is for use in misdemeanor prosecutions under 21 O.S. 2001, § 540A(A). OUJI-CR 6-30 is for felony prosecutions under 21 O.S. 2001, § 540A(B and C). "Peace officer" is defined in OUJI-CR 6-35.
Section 540A of Title 21 was amended in 1981 by adding game rangers as a classification of officials who could be the subjects of evasive action by vehicle drivers. See Kellogg v. State, 1988 OK CR 225, 762 P.2d 993 (affirming conviction for eluding game ranger). In addition, the maximum punishment by fine was increased from $1000 to $2000.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a conviction under section 540A even though the peace officer did not use a siren in Aldridge v. State, 1984 OK CR 7, 674 P.2d 553. The officer's patrol vehicle was not equipped with a siren, because it had been recently purchased, and so he flashed his emergency light and honked his horn at the defendant. There was also substantial evidence that the defendant knew that the person requesting her to stop was a peace officer. Under these circumstances, the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the prosecution met its burden of proof. Id. at ¶ 4, 674 P.2d at 553.
In Hayes v. State, 1977 OK CR 219, 566 P.2d 1172 , the Court of Criminal Appeals held that the fact that the police officer temporarily lost sight of the defendant when the car the defendant was driving disappeared over a hill was insufficient evidence to establish that a change of drivers could have occurred. In the civil case of State ex rel. Oklahoma Dept. of Public Safety v. Ryan, 1978 OK CIV APP 47, 591 P.2d 1187, the Court of Appeals held that one violating the provisions of this statute must have acted intentionally and not through negligence. Section 540A contains a specific attempt provision. For this reason, the general attempt statute, 21 O.S. 2001, § 44, is inapplicable. See Ex parte Smith, 95 Okl. Cr. 370, 246 P.2d 389 (1952).