DUI patrols ramp up for Cinco de Mayo celebrations

TACOMA -- Frank and Carol Blair sit side by side in their front yard in Tacoma, soaking up the sunshine. It’s a perfect day, but something is missing.

The Blair’s lost their 24-year-old daughter Sheena in March 2010. She was driving home with friends when a wrong-way drunk driver slammed into her car, killing her and badly injuring her passengers.

“Getting that knock on the door in the middle of the night is so horrible. We felt a moral obligation to move Sheena’s spirit forward and to do everything we possibly can to stop this,” Frank said.

The Blair’s will be going bar to bar on Cinco de Mayo, along with Liquor Board Control officers, to make sure people aren’t drinking too much.

“I’ll talk to the bar owners and bring up the fact that if  I can prove the person who killed Sheena came from your bar and they were over served here, guess where I would send the lawyers? So many people use their credit card so there is a paper trail,” Frank said.

Popular Cinco de Mayo bars will also be passing out Click it 2 Ride cards.

“If you use your smart phone and scan them, it will get you the closest taxi company so you do not have to sit and wait and wonder who to call. This just takes the guess work out of it,” said Trooper Julie Judson with the Washington State Patrol.

On the roads, law enforcement in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will be out in full force looking for drunk drivers.

“We really need people to plan ahead -- assume they’re going to have too much. If you have to stop and ask yourself ‘Am I OK to drive?’ You’re not,” Judson said.

Officers will be targeting roads that are at high risk for impaired driving crashes in Tacoma, Puyallup, Seattle, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Burien, Seatac, Lynnwood, Marysville, and Everett. A Mobile Impaired Driving Unit operated by WSP will be set up in Kent to enable officers to transfer the custody of those arrested to the unit’s troopers so that arresting officers can quickly resume their hunt for impaired drivers.

The restaurants handing out the Click it 2 Ride cards include: