Patrols added to drive sober campaign
August 13, 2013
King County law enforcement is putting extra officers on the road between Aug. 16 and Sept. 2 for the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The national campaign, put on by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aims to keep roads safe during the last few weeks of summer from people driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Despite the fact that voters in the state of Washington voted to legalize marijuana use for adults 21 and older, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.
“Driving impaired is a decision that can change the lives of everyone involved,” Sgt. Ted Boe, of the Seatac Police Department, said in a press release. “It is a senseless risk and is not worth it. Getting caught is the best thing that can happen if you’re driving impaired.”
Marijuana use slows reaction time, decreases a drivers’s ability to stay in his or her own lane and reduces a driver’s ability to perform divided-attention tasks, like steering and maintaining vehicle speed at the same time. Officers in King County are trained to identify drivers under the influence of marijuana as well as alcohol, and look for effects such as relaxed inhibitions, time and distance distortion, disorientation, incomplete thought processes and increased pulse.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is also a part of Target Zero, a project that aims to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington state by 2030. Last year, extra patrol officers arrested 374 people for driving under the influence during the campaign.