DUI patrols to increase leading up to Labor Day weekend

Law enforcement agencies across the Olympic Peninsula will increase DUI patrols Friday through Sept. 3 in anticipation of Labor Day weekend.

According to a press release from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, this is typically the deadliest time of the year on the state’s roadways.

The Clallam and Jefferson County Target Zero Task Force, State Patrol, Jefferson and Clallam sheriff’s offices, and the police departments of Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend will participate in the emphasis patrols in search of drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Drivers impaired by alcohol, marijuana and other drugs are involved in nearly half of all traffic deaths in Washington. In 2017 alone, 250 people were killed in such crashes, according to the press release.

“These tragedies are completely preventable,” said Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

A new Traffic Safety Commission report provides insight into what has become the most common form of driver impairment — poly-drug use, or using two or more drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs.

Beginning in 2012, the number of poly-drug impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes has increased by an average of 15 percent every year, the press release stated.

As of 2016, one in four of all Washington traffic deaths involved a poly-drug impaired driver.

The most common combination is alcohol and marijuana.

The Traffic Safety Commission is encouraging people to “Make a Plan Before You Party” in order to get home safe.

“There are so many ways to travel safely, from taxis and ridesharing apps to public transportation, that driving drunk or driving high should never be an option,” said Grondel. “Just a few minutes of advance planning can prevent a terrible tragedy and costly arrest.”

For more information, visit wadrivetozero.com/DUI.

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