Police join summer DUI crackdown
August 17, 2010
Issaquah police and more than 100 other law enforcement agencies started a statewide crackdown on drunken driving last week, as part of the largest-ever summer DUI enforcement push.
The extra patrols — part of the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign — continue through Sept. 6. The campaign started Aug. 12.
The state experiences the greatest number of alcohol- or drug-impaired, driver-involved traffic deaths between July and September. In order to combat the problem, 178 agencies statewide signed on to the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed effort from the state Traffic Safety Commission.
Between 2000-09, 31 percent of impaired-driving deaths occurred in summer. Labor Day weekend averages more than seven deaths each year.
“Impaired driving continues to be the No. 1 factor contributing to traffic deaths both nationally and in Washington, and is therefore the top priority for traffic safety professionals across the country,” Traffic Safety Commission Director Lowell Porter said in a statement. “Every life lost at the hands of an impaired driver is preventable, which makes each tragic death even more painful to the families and friends who suffer the loss of a loved one.”
The commission funds grants for the extra patrols — called X-52 — part of the Target Zero plan to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.
Police arrest more than 200 for DUI
Issaquah police officers — part of the King County Target Zero Team — helped arrest more than 200 drivers as the state seeks to reduce the number of deadly traffic accidents.
The team includes Washington State Patrol troopers, plus officers from the Bellevue, Renton, Redmond, Kent, Auburn, Federal Way, Kirkland and Seattle police departments.
The team kicked off the push the morning of July 1 and arrested the first drunken driver just moments after the ceremony concluded.
King County had 10 DUI-related deaths last month — down from a dozen in July 2009.
“We are committed to reaching our goal of zero traffic-related fatalities by the year 2030. We are proud to see it start right here in our county,” state patrol District 2 commander Capt. Steve Burns said in a news release.