WSP using special command center for Black Friday DUIs

BELLEVUE -- Processing a DUI can take anywhere from an hour up to three hours. So WSP uses specialized equipment on nights like Black Friday to speed up that process and get troopers back on patrol.

It’s the start of the holiday season for Washington State Patrol and that means they’re going to be bringing out the Mobile Impaired Driving Unit. It’s basically a command post on wheels. It gives troopers an extra location to process their DUIs in half the time it normally takes and get them back out on the road to keep you safe.

A drunken driver hit and killed Jon Barber’s brother back in 2006 when he was a rookie with the Seattle PD.

“He really embraced that job and it was his life -long dream to be a police officer,” said Jon Barber of his brother.

It’s a stark reminder for drivers heading into the holidays.

“People are going to be out at the office parties, like I said, holiday parties and we just want to do the best we can to keep people safe,” said Trooper Rick Johnson.

That’s why State Patrol is rolling out its Mobile Impaired Driving Unit on Black Friday, it uses the mobile home a little over 30 times a year.

“This is one of the BAC machines that we are looking at.  This is the Data Master that’s been around for many, many years, long before my career ever started,” said Trooper Nick King.

It has everything troopers need to process a DUI, even a couple small holding cells.

Having extra resources in one place can put troopers back on the road faster after each stop.

“Forty-five minutes to an hour from that officer or trooper that’s out on the freeway typically,” said King.

While DUI patrols are not a new thing, some people still aren’t getting the message, last year troopers made 262 DUI arrests in King County from Black Friday to New Year’s Day. A good reminder that one bad decision can carry with it a lifetime’s worth of consequences.

“You know yesterday we had Thanksgiving, and it’s always hard to not have a family member there,” said Barber.