Issaquah police to join St. Patrick’s Day DUI crackdown

March 2, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 2 p.m. March 2, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day could be unlucky for impaired motorists.

Statewide, law enforcement agencies and the Issaquah Police Department plan to embark on a campaign to nab drunken drivers before, during and after the holiday.

The effort starts March 9 and runs through March 18, the day after St. Patrick’s Day. The campaign means beefed-up DUI enforcement on Issaquah and King County roads, as Issaquah police and other law enforcement agencies join the crackdown.

Washington law enforcement officers advise all holiday partygoers to designate a sober driver, call a cab or choose not to drink alcohol.

Officers in King County on routine and extra patrols arrested 310 people for DUI during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement effort last year.

In addition to Issaquah police and the Washington State Patrol, officers in nearby Bellevue, Newcastle, North Bend, Renton, Sammamish and Snoqualmie plan to participate in the extra DUI enforcement.

The anti-DUI effort is organized under the aegis of the King County Target Zero Task Force, a regional effort to crack down on unsafe driving practices. Target Zero managers coordinate the extra patrols. In addition, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission provides support.

Target Zero’s goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries statewide by 2030.

“If your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations involve drinking alcohol at a restaurant, bar or someone else’s home, designate a safe ride before the party begins,” Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said in a statement. “If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride, take the bus, call a cab, a family member, or just stay where you are. Do not drive.”

The anti-DUI task force conducted a similar crackdown from Thanksgiving through the New Year’s holiday.

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