Extra DUI Patrols for the Holidays - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Extra DUI Patrols for the Holidays

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YAKIMA, WA-Law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in extra patrols aimed at getting DUI drivers off the roads over this holiday season from December 15 to January 1.

“The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) funds these extra patrols because we want every family to enjoy the holidays with their loved ones,” said Darrin Grondel, WTSC director. “Unfortunately, we are very aware that deadly traffic crashes can turn holiday dreams into nightmares.”

“We are alarmed at recent increases in traffic deaths involving DUI, especially among drivers who test positive for two or more drugs, or both alcohol and drugs,” said Grondel. “Our agency is charged with examining every detail of every deadly crash. When we look at this data, we have to wonder why we are seeing so many deadly crashes where drivers are mixing drugs and alcohol,” added Grondel.

An example of one such crash occurred on May 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm. A 25-year-old man was driving under the combined influence of alcohol and marijuana with his wife and 3-year-old daughter in the car. Just a few miles east of Granger, he swerved to avoid an object and over-corrected causing his car to roll. The crash injured his daughter and killed his wife. Test results showed 23 nanograms of THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana) as well as blood alcohol content of 0.03 percent. State law sets the legal limit for THC at 5 nanograms. The man was charged with vehicular homicide.

“So as we travel this season, I would like to remind Washingtonians that mixing alcohol, marijuana and other drugs with driving can have devastating consequences. Give the gift of life this holiday season. Talk to your friends and family. Ensure they drive sober or find an alternative ride.”
In Yakima and Klickitat Counties, the Goldendale, Grandview, Sunnyside, Union Gap and Yakima Police Departments, the Yakima and Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol will be teaming up and participating in the extra patrols, with the support of the Yakima and Klickitat County Traffic Safety Task Force.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission embraces Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030, but we can’t get there without you. Drive Sober and be part of our Target Zero Team. Remember—drunk, drugs or high, it’s a DUI. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com.