Troopers urge traffic safety for recent graduates

June 26, 2012

Graduation at Issaquah School District high schools and elsewhere prompted the Washington State Patrol to remind teenagers to celebrate graduation safely.

Troopers urged parents to talk to teenagers about the perils of distracted driving and driving under the influence.

“I have seen my share of fatal collisions involving kids who just graduated from high school and were celebrating with their friends,” state patrol Lt. Kandi Patrick said in a statement.

In recent years, more than 1,000 fatal collisions in Washington involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 25. Police said vehicle drivers and passengers made up more than 90 percent of deaths, and 61 percent were the vehicle driver.

Statewide, more than 20 percent of deaths involving young drivers occurred in July or August between 6 p.m. on a Friday and 5:59 a.m. on a Monday. Speeding ranked as the No. 1 factor in the fatal accidents, followed by drug and alcohol impairment, and distracted driving.

Under state law, police can arrest a minor for driving under the influence if he or she has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent. The legal limit for adults 21 and older is 0.08 percent.

Police offer safety message to teenagers as graduation approaches

June 7, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 7, 2012

The approach of graduation at Issaquah School District high schools and elsewhere prompted the Washington State Patrol to remind teenagers to celebrate graduation safely.

Troopers urged parents to talk to teenagers about the perils of distracted driving and driving under the influence.

“I have seen my share of fatal collisions involving kids who just graduated from high school and were celebrating with their friends,” Lt. Kandi Patrick said.

In recent years, more than 1,000 fatal collisions in Washington involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 25. Police said vehicle drivers and passengers encompassed more than 90 percent of deaths, and 61 percent encompassed the vehicle driver.

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Off the Press

May 8, 2012

Friends care enough to say don’t drink and drive

Greg Farrar Press photographer

You young people who are now high school seniors were newborn babies when I started working here at The Press, so there’s obviously the implication that I’ve taken pictures of a lot of you throughout your 12 years of classroom activities here in the Issaquah School District.

You might remember those times, and in fact your parents might have saved the clippings! You’ve been one of the great pleasures of my job.

In just about a month, you’ll be graduating from Skyline, Issaquah, Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools. I expect to see you at Safeco Field or the Tiger Mountain campus for your commencement. Congratulations to all of you!

The important thing is that you all live long and happy lives afterward, so if you’ll read along for a minute, I’d like to talk about that Liberty High School DUI demonstration that ran in the paper last week.

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Issaquah police plan extra DUI enforcement for Cinco de Mayo

May 2, 2012

NEW — 1:30 p.m. May 2, 2012

Local law and public health enforcement agencies asked revelers to toast Cinco de Mayo responsibly as the holiday approached.

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

Local law enforcement agencies, plus the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Washington State Patrol, scheduled extra DUI officers and troopers to remove dangerous drivers from the road. Law enforcement officers also plan to visit bars to ensure responsible service.

Latino community leaders from the Mexican Consulate in Seattle, El Centro de la Raza, SeaMar Community Health Centers and Consejo Counseling & Referral joined Public Health – Seattle & King County and Target Zero Teams to support the traffic safety effort.

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Press Editorial

March 13, 2012

Liquor service hours could get flexible

There’s a little city 15 miles west of here that wants to change state law — a change that would affect businesses in Issaquah.

Seattle wants the Washington State Liquor Control Board to approve a resolution to allow for extended liquor hours. If approved, Issaquah would be able to dictate opening and closing hours for the service of alcohol at bars, restaurants and clubs or entertainment venues.

Seattle’s goal is to extend liquor service hours, but it could choose to go the other way. Seattle’s mayor has suggested that staggered closing times could help with public safety concerns.

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Press Editorial

March 6, 2012

DUI crackdown need not wait for holidays

St. Patrick’s Day could be unlucky for impaired motorists. But getting drunk drivers off the road would be lucky for everyone else.

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

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

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

March 2, 2012

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.

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Police plan anti-DUI blitz for Super Bowl Sunday

February 2, 2012

NEW — 3:45 p.m. Feb. 2, 2012

Expect to see extra police cruisers on roads in Issaquah and King County as officers look for impaired drivers on Super Bowl Sunday.

The evening of the Super Bowl game is historically a dangerous time on Washington roads due to the high number of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police in Issaquah plan to participate in the anti-DUI blitz. Officers in nearby cities and Washington State Patrol troopers plan to participate, too.

“Make the right call and choose a safe ride home this weekend,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, in the statement. “Before your party begins, designate a sober driver, ride the bus or take a cab.”

Half of all traffic deaths in Washington state on the Super Bowl evening involved impaired drivers. Since 2009, police arrested 191 people for DUI on Super Bowl Sunday in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

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New Year’s holiday weekend leads to DUI arrests

January 10, 2012

State troopers arrested 253 people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the New Year’s holiday weekend.

“It is always the hope that the new year starts with people driving safe and sober,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “But, I am proud that our troopers are out ensuring impaired drivers are taken off the roads.”

The number of people arrested statewide for DUI by troopers during the holiday weekend decreased from the 286 people arrested for DUI during the same period in 2010. The total from the 2011 holiday weekend includes 32 people involved in DUI collisions.

The holiday weekend started at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and ended at midnight Jan. 2.

Troopers arrest 161 motorists for DUI during holiday weekend

January 3, 2012

State troopers arrested 161 motorists suspecting of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during Christmas weekend.

The figure is down from the 194 arrests troopers made during the period last year. The tally does not include arrests made by local law enforcement agencies, although the Issaquah Police Department is participating in holiday season drunken driving patrols.

“We’re going in the right direction, but these numbers are still too high,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “There’s just no excuse for putting yourself and others at risk by driving while impaired.”

The state patrol noted three fatal collisions during the holiday weekend. Troopers believe alcohol or drugs contributed to the death of a 47-year-old Chehalis man on State Highway 2 in Snohomish County. Investigators said the driver went around barricades and drove onto a pedestrian walkway, killing a man and injuring another.

No fatal collisions occurred during the same period in 2010.

Through Nov. 30, state troopers had arrested 20,130 motorists for DUI for the year — or up about 1 percent from the same period in 2010.

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