Considering New Year’s Eve is one of the deadliest nights on the country’s highways, it is no wonder that law enforcement agencies across the nation deploy extra patrols during the holiday season.
In Washington state, things won’t be any different.
According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), the agency will be ramping up its DUI enforcement this weekend and the next in San Juan, Skagit, Island, and Whatcom Counties.
This initiative is part of the Northwest Region Target Zero program and it focuses on drivers who are impaired and under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Despite the changes the country has seen take place due to the pandemic, many believed that the stay-at-home orders would at least help to bring the number of deadly accidents down. Unfortunately, serious and deadly crashes continue to take place in Washington state.
Holiday Season Can Be Deadly For Drivers
During the holiday season, even during a pandemic, drivers are more likely to hit the road to see family and friends to celebrate. Others are more likely to have small gatherings at their own homes, which often involve alcohol. Unfortunately, guests and family members oftentimes fail to prepare in advance. While some are responsible, others might ignore the risks and operate their vehicles even after consuming alcoholic beverages. It is this reality that makes the holiday season especially dangerous.
Officials say that nearly half of all deadly traffic accidents in the state involve an impaired driver, making alcohol and drug impaired driving the leading contributing factor in deadly accidents in Washington. During the holiday season, the risks become much greater.
When compared to other states Washington ranks No. 44 for impaired driving deaths during the last few weeks of the year. The five states with the highest rates of impaired driving deaths are Wyoming, South Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Alabama.
If you plan on gathering with a group of family members or friends this holiday season, keep in mind that drunk driving is dangerous and against the law.
Officials will be on the lookout for suspicious behavior in the hopes that they can help save lives.
If you would like to know more about the DUI patrols, follow this link.