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Drive sober or get pulled over patrols start tonight in King County

DUI is the leading cause of death on Washington roadways, accountable for nearly half of the 439 fatalities on our roads during 2012. That’s why between August 16 and September 2 extra officers will be looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs during the annualDrive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

Even though Washington legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older, it is still illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana. Studies have found that marijuana-positive drivers are twice as likely to crash as other drivers.* Marijuana use can slow reaction time, decrease the ability of a driver to maintain lane position, and diminish the ability to pay attention to the tasks of driving. It also interferes with a driver’s ability to perform divided-attention tasks, such as steering and maintaining vehicle speed at the same time.

Officers can tell when a driver is experiencing other effects of marijuana influence such as relaxed inhibitions, altered perception of time and distance, disorientation, incomplete thought processes and increased pulse.

Sergeant Ted Boe of the Seatac Police Department is specially trained in detecting DUIs; he is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and DRE Instructor. “Driving impaired is a decision that can change lives of everyone involved” said Sgt. Boe. “It is a senseless risk and not worth it. Getting caught is the best thing that can happen if you are driving impaired.”

King County law enforcement is proactive and has made traffic safety a priority. One of the many top DUI performers is Trooper Ray Seaburg who is a 10-year veteran of the WSP and has made more than 1,200 DUI arrests in the last nine years. He says “Our DUI work speaks for itself in the decline in fatalities since Target Zero Teams began. We are out there working tirelessly to reach our ZERO goal and we can’t do this without our communities making responsible choices.”

The goal of these extra patrols is to keep you and your family safe during this vacation travel time. If you see a DUI, please call 911. Remember, the safest thing is not to drive at all after drinking or using marijuana or other drugs.

Last year in King County, during the same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 374 people for DUI. For all of 2012, in King County, 8,578 people were charged with DUI.**

The Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Clyde Hill, Covington, Des Moines, Duvall, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Newcastle, North Bend, Port of Seattle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seatac, Seattle, Snoqualmie, Tukwila and Woodinville Police Departments and the Washington State Patrol will participate in this Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

The King County Target Zero Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort.

These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com. Additional information on theWashington Traffic Safety Commission can be found on the website, www.wtsc.wa.gov.

 

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