This year’s Memorial Day Weekend turned out to be quite busy for Washington State Patrol troopers, local news outlets reported.
During the long weekend, officials told reporters that DUI arrests and collisions are back to pre-Covid-19 levels.
In District 6 alone, WSP troopers arrested 27 people for drinking and driving. In 2020, only nine people were arrested for intoxicated driving during the same period.
This year’s long weekend also produced 45 traffic collisions, whereas 2020’s Memorial Day Weekend resulted in only 17 accidents.
The North Central Washington area where all the DUIs and accidents were reported encompasses Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, and Okanogan counties. The region hadn’t seen such a high number of DUI arrests during the Memorial Day Weekend since over five years ago.
WSP: Despite Fluctuation, Accident Rates Remain High
Officials told reporters that the low number of DUIs reported in 2020 was due to the strict lockdown restrictions imposed on state residents due to Covid-19. But prior to 2020, accident and DUI arrest numbers were already considerably high.
According to the WSP, 2017 saw 37 collisions during Memorial Day Weekend in the same region. In 2018, officials registered 27 accidents during the same period and in 2019, the number went up again, with officials responding to 33 crashes. But when it comes to DUI arrests, numbers were actually better in 2019.
In both 2017 and 2018, there were 24 DUI arrests while in 2019, only 15 people were taken into custody for drinking and driving during the holiday.
Celebrating And Driving Don’t Mix
Whether it’s Memorial Day or Thanksgiving, nobody should use a holiday as an excuse to drink and drive.
If you intend on celebrating with friends or family and that involves hitting the road, remember that intoxicated driving isn’t only illegal, it is also deadly. By choosing to drink and drive you put your life and the lives of others in grave danger.
Stay safe by always having a designated driver or using services such as Uber or Lyft for safe rides home.
For more on this year’s Memorial Day accident and DUI incidents, click here.