Yakima, WA - Since the pandemic, the Yakima Police Department (YPD) saw more Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests during the daytime than at night.
Capt. Shawn Boyle said this may be because more people are home, not working with not much to do.
A lot of people who get pulled over say they only had a few drinks, but Boyle said that usually means they actually had a lot more.
"I think a lot of our more serious injuries and fatality collisions are people who didn't go out with intention of hurting anyone, they just made choices to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or using drugs," said Boyle.
Officers have arrested people with a .08 to as high at .4 intoxication level, but higher levels don't always mean more reckless driving.
"Alcohol and drugs affect people differently, so what a .08 to someone maybe very highly intoxicated but people that drink a lot, they're going to show a lot less signs of being impaired," said Boyle.
YPD had about 100 fewer DUI arrests made in 2020 than in 20-19. They had two arrests on the night of New Year's Eve, which is surprisingly normal as more people have a plan for holidays unlike on a regular Tuesday said Boyle.
Driving under the influence, whether with alcohol or drugs, will lead to a night spent in jail and possible car suspension on the first offense. More than one offense can lead to a felony charge.
“If we can educate the public, and have them make the choices to stop drinking and driving, it would reduce the amount of enforcement and the amount of serious injuries in collisions in our valley,” said Boyle.
If you suspect a drunk driver on the road, call 911, try to get their license plate number, and stay on the line with the dispatcher until the police get to that location.