Local agencies step up DUI patrols
Between December 1 and January 1, extra Washington state law enforcement agencies will be enacting extra driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement patrols to help reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads during the holiday season..
In Whatcom County, officers from Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden and Sumas police departments, and the Whatcom County sheriff’s office, and Western Washington University, will conduct 250 hours of extra patrols combing the streets and roadways to make them safer for everyone.
This “Drive Hammered – Get Nailed” campaign is a joint effort between the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, law enforcement statewide and the Whatcom Traffic Safety Task Force.
Coinciding with the DUI emphasis patrols, on December 12 – 13, law enforcement, health, legal and safety professionals will gather for the 19th Annual Impaired Driver Conference taking place at the Sea-Tac.
Nationally, alcohol driving fatalities are rising. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the U.S. during 2004, 15,045 people were killed in crashes involving drinking drivers and during 2005, 15,172 Americans died in crashes involving drinking drivers, representing 36 percent of the 42,636 people killed in all traffic crashes.
Drunk driving is one of the most frequently committed violent crimes in America – and is the single largest contributing factor in fatal collisions in Washington state.
Between 2000 and 2005, 1,456 people died as a result of drunk drivers on Washington roadways. And, in 2005, 41,972 people were charged with DUI in Washington.
The average blood alcohol level of people arrested for DUI is .14 – nearly twice the legal limit of .08.