DUI's are Up in Richland - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DUI's are Up in Richland

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RICHLAND, Wash. - The Richland Police Department with the help of Washington State Patrol have more than doubled the number of DUI arrests in Richland from last year.

Richland Police tell me they credit heavy DUI patrols for the increase in arrests.

Since January they've held several DUI emphasis patrols making a total of 34 DUI arrests this year. That's a 61% increase from the same time period in 2008.

Captain Mike Cobb with the Richland Police Department said getting drunk drivers off the road greatly decreases the chances of fatal collisions. "I think the numbers speak quite loudly, if you could interdict someone on their way to kill someone, would you do it? And that's exactly what a DUI arrest is. You're stopping someone before they have an opportunity to kill somebody," said Cobb.

In 2008, there were 13 fatal car accidents in the Tri-Cities, eight of which involved drunk drivers. Richland Police plan to do more DUI emphasis over the summer months.