DUI patrols target impaired drivers during the holidays

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. -- The Washington State Patrol and several other law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for impaired drivers through the Thanksgiving holiday week.

"Every year we give everyone warnings to drive safely, don’t drink and drive, and  have a designated driver, or use uber, taxi cabs, whatever they can to make themselves safe," said Trooper Keith Leary with the Washington State Patrol. "But every year we find ourselves arresting so many DUI's."

Other law enforcement agencies in King County will also kick off their annual DUI emphasis patrols on Black Friday (Nov. 23).

Patrols will be looking for drivers impaired by alcohol, legal marijuana or other illegal drugs.

According to WSP, 224 people have died in crashes that WSP has investigated as of Oct. 31.

In King County alone, 41 people have died in collisions. WSP says alcohol or drug impairment is believed to be a factor in many of the fatal crashes.

"We recognize that the holidays are a time of celebrations, parties, and family get-togethers. The focus of the increased patrols is to remove impaired drivers and reduce/deter collision causing driving behaviors by increasing the number of officers on our roads," WSP said. 

Troopers urge everyone to celebrate responsibly.

"Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, you need to decide to not drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver. This vital decision can save yours, or someone else’s, life," troopers said.