With Valentine's Day approaching fast, I thought it would be wise to remind all of our Washington-driver lovebirds out there about the legal requirement that they save their affections for non-driving situations. Brad Thayer touched on this a while back here as part of his review of interesting statutes.
RCW 46.61.665 prohibits “embracing another while driving”. It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle “when such person has in his or her embrace another person which prevents the free and unhampered operation of such vehicle.” A violation of the statute can serve as prima facie evidence of reckless driving.
A quick bit of research reveals no case law in Washington interpreting what constitutes an “embrace”, and the statute does not define the term. Better stay on the safe side, though, and limit yourself to gentle pats on the shoulder of your driver-partner until the vehicle is parked!