Catching Drunk Drivers in a New Way - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Catching Drunk Drivers in a New Way

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Washington State Patrol has devised a new way to catch drunk drivers.

But troopers across the State are taking care of people driving under the influence in different ways. Troopers in Spokane and Snohomish counties are using special emphasis patrols to catch drunk drivers. These troopers do nothing but look for people driving under the influence. The four person Snohomish team has arrested nearly a thousand drunk drivers this year.

That has cut alcohol-related crashes in Snohomish County by nearly 50%. In the Tri-Cities, a similar program was planned but not adopted because of a lack of resources.

Trooper David Brandt says, "We use the resources we have and we run with them. The troopers in the Tri-City area are very focused on DUI enforcement and that's what we do around here, get drunk drivers off the road."

Brandt says Tri-Cities troopers emphasize peak drinking times to crack down on drunk drivers, like on Friday and Saturday nights. Statewide, the different methods troopers are using seem to be working. There have been 37% less alcohol-related crashes in the state.