State Patrols Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State Patrols Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers

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Washington - More State Troopers are patroling the roads in counties across the state this week, trying to prevent alcohol related car crashes.

It's the start of a campaign called 'Drive Hammered, Get Nailed' and its put on by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

It starts this week and runs through Labor Day Weekend which happenes to be one of the deadliest weekends for Washington State Drivers every year.

It's an effort to prevent deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers.  Troopers say August is the worst month for traffic deaths.   The maximum penalty for drunk driving is 5 years in prison and a 10 thousand dollar fine.  Troopers encourage everyone to call 911 and report suspicious drivers that could be driving under the influence.

During 2006, there were 3,350 crashes involving a drunk driver in Washington State.   229 of those were fatal car crashes which resulted in 252 deaths.

Nationally, alcohol driving fatalities are rising.  During 2006, 17,941 Americans died in alcohol related traffic collisions, compared to 15,172 during 2005 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.