Cops, deputies and troopers throughout the state are resuming their annual holiday crackdown this weekend against drunken drivers, who on average kill 49 people a year in Washington state between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is coordinating the effort and a publicity campaign across the state, to include awareness of marijuana-impaired drivers, who exhibit delayed reaction times and are considered twice as likely to crash, compared with sober drivers.
Snohomish County will be using the State Patrol’s Mobile Impaired Driving Unit, a 36-foot mobile home where patrol officers can drop off arrested suspects to be processed and tested by troopers, so traffic police can return to the road quickly, said Tracy McMillan, Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Task Force Manager. (“Target Zero” refers to a state goal to push traffic deaths down to zero by 2030.) Patrols will be concentrated on roads with a history of impaired-driving crashes, she said.
“Officers, deputies and troopers will also be on the lookout for people who speed, drive aggressively, aren’t wearing a seat belt, or who violate other traffic laws,” she said. “Wintertime driving can be hazardous, but it can be deadly when it’s mixed with alcohol or drugs.”