Issaquah Police Department joins regional DUI crackdown

August 14, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Issaquah police officers plan to join a regional push to pull drunken drivers from local roads in the run-up to Labor Day.

The agency is joining other police departments in King County, Washington and across the United States from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3 in the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign.

Beneath the clever title is a serious message about the impacts of drunken driving and driving under the influence.

What to know

Washington Traffic Safety Commission officials offer tips to help motorists spot and report people for driving under the influence.

Drunken drivers can exhibit a variety of behaviors depending upon impairment level.

If a motorist feels he or she is impaired, he or she often travels slower than the posted speed limit, appears to be drunk and puts his or her face close to the windshield, travels side to side within and outside the lane, and makes slow responses to traffic signals, stops suddenly and taps the brakes.

If a motorist does not feel he or she is impaired, he or she might drive aggressively, speed, follow other vehicles too closely, abruptly change lanes, or travel side to side within and outside the lane.

Officials recommend other motorists call 911 to report a suspected drunken driver.

Source: Washington Traffic Safety Commission

“There are extra patrols out there specifically looking for drinking and driving violations,” Issaquah Police Cmdr. Stan Conrad said in a recent interview. “People just need to be extremely cautious and aware. There are plenty of opportunities to get a ride or call someone.”

During the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign last year, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 452 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in King County, and statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 1,824 drivers for DUI.

Besides the Issaquah Police Department, the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign includes the nearby Bellevue, Newcastle, North Bend, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and Renton police departments, in addition to the Washington State Patrol.

The effort is organized and supported through the King County Target Zero Task Force, a regional push to crack down on unsafe driving practices.

“Besides the potential of somebody getting hurt or killed, it can be very expensive to get a DUI,” Conrad said. “It will have a profound impact on someone’s life, regardless.”

The enforcement campaign is also a chance to spotlight a state law — nicknamed Hailey’s Law — to require the towing of vehicles driven by drivers arrested for DUI.

The law sets a 12-hour mandatory hold on such vehicles. The measure is intended to prevent impaired drivers from returning to vehicles and driving again.

Only a registered or legal owner not in the car at the time of arrest is allowed to pick up the car out of impound before the 12-hour hold expires.

The measure is nicknamed for Hailey French, a woman severely injured after a drunken driver hit her in a head-on crash along the Mount Baker Highway in January 2007.

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