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120 agencies partner for statewide holiday DUI patrols

If you choose to drive while impaired this holiday season, there are 120 police agencies around Washington committed to making sure you are arrested and successfully prosecuted.
If you choose to drive while impaired this holiday season, there are 120 police agencies around Washington committed to making sure you are arrested and successfully prosecuted.

Coalition urges public to help friends and family members drive responsibly this holiday season.

From a Washington State Patrol news release.

If you choose to drive while impaired this holiday season, there are 120 police agencies around Washington committed to making sure you are arrested and successfully prosecuted.

That’s the message today from a coalition of agencies and organizations active in the field of traffic and auto safety.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is funding a significant number of local emphasis patrols, in which officers from the 120 agencies will work overtime to provide extra coverage at the hours when most DUI-related collisions occur.

"Keeping your families together and our roads safe is our first priority this holiday season," said Traffic Safety Commission Director Darrin Grondel.

"Reaching Zero fatalities requires your help, make the right choice, join the Target Zero Team. Drive sober, report a DUI, keep your eyes on the road, and buckle up. It’s your best defense against a DUI-driver.”

Although enforcement is a key component of changing driver behavior, officials were quick to add that seat belts and other occupant protection devices are saving lives as well. Being a sober driver protects you from yourself; buckling up helps protect you from the irresponsible driver.  

Among the 120 agencies out in force will be the Washington State Patrol.

“Our troopers have seen the results of impaired driving up close, and very personally,” said WSP Deputy Chief Curt Hattell.

“The only thing worse than making a death notification is doing so during what should be a festive holiday season. Each trooper who’s been in that situation comes away fully committed to ending the scourge of impaired driving.”

In the emphasis patrols, troopers work right alongside county sheriff’s deputies and city police officers and are guided by data that helps predict the areas where DUIs are most likely to cause a tragedy.

There’s one more thing everyone can do to help make for a joyous and safe holiday season: Use your influence to help keep others from driving while impaired.

Saving a life is the best gift you can give this holiday season.

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