The results of the regional Holiday DUI Enforcement Patrol for 2011 were released this week and deemed a success by officials.
“We have been doing this for years and plan to continue it,” says Kristina Moy, spokeswoman for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. “It has been very successful.”
Special patrols for DUI prevention were stationed in Spokane and Pend Oreille counties from Nov. 24, 2011 through Jan. 2, 2012. Extra patrols, funded by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, have been charged with the express duty of enforcing DUI laws during the holiday season since 2004.
“When we do a holiday campaign there are more patrols on the road looking for DUI’s specifically,” Moy says.
This year, 188 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence during this holiday season compared to the 173 during the 2010 holidays.
“The DUI arrest rate has been fairly consistent over the last ten years or so,” says WTSC program manager, Angie Ward. “So we try not to get too excited when we see an increase.”
According to a statement from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, in 2010 about 40 percent of the deaths on Washington roadways were attributed to drunk drivers.
“What we strive for and are proud of is consistency,” Ward said. “We want to build a social norm for traffic safety in Washington. We just want to build a safe community.”