Ramped up DUI patrols over the holiday season made Washington roads safer last month, during a season notorious for drunk driving.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign netted 115 motorists who were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Whatcom County from November 21 through January 1.
This number is an improvement over last year’s DUI enforcement campaign over the same time period, during which 134 people were arrested for DUI in Whatcom County. Statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 3,446 drivers for DUI during this year’s campaign.
Kristina Moy, media relations consultant for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, said her department was encouraged by the lower numbers.
“The aim is to reduce incidents of impaired driving, and with lower numbers in Whatcom County this year, it seems to be working,” she said.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a DUI enforcement program funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state aimed to reduce drunk driving during the holiday season by assigning officers to extra patrols dedicated to DUI enforcement.
In Whatcom County, the Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden and Western Washington University police departments along with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol participated in the program, with the support of the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.
Moy said the holiday season is an important time for this program, given the number of holiday festivities that often involve alcohol.