Friday, September 12, 2008

Fewer arrests in summer DUI crackdown


Law enforcement officers across the state busted nearly 1,800 drivers for drunken driving during a summer-long crackdown.

Thursday, the state's Traffic Safety Commission released the results of the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed crackdown, which began Aug. 15 and ended Sept. 1. Statewide, 268 law enforcement agencies participated in the effort, the agency reported.
Of the 1,797 motorists arrested for driving under the influence during the period, 351 were in King County. Pierce County had the next highest number of arrests with 254.

Drugs and alcohol use are the primary factor in traffic deaths. Last year, 517 people died in traffic crashes in the state. Of those deaths, 263 involved an impaired driver.

Officials said the extra patrols that are part of the crackdown have helped reduce traffic deaths.

As of Sept. 2, there have been 319 traffic deaths statewide. In the same time period last year, there were 364 deaths.
Over the Labor Day weekend, of the four fatalities that took place on state highways, none involved alcohol or drugs.

"It has been six years since a Labor Day holiday was free from a traffic death due to alcohol," said Lowell Porter, director of the traffic safety commission.

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