Nine arrested for DUI in Clark County over holidays

By John Branton and Paul Suarez

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Troopers with Washington State Patrol District 5, which serves Clark, Lewis, Cowlitz, Skamania and Klickitat counties, arrested 14 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over Christmas weekend, officials said.

The drivers were arrested between 6 p.m. on Dec. 23 and 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 26. Nine of the 14 arrests were in the Clark County area, said Trooper Ryan Tanner, a state patrol spokesman. Four were arrested by troopers in the Chehalis area and one in the Kelso area, he said.

“Our guys are out there working hard” to get impaired drivers off the road, Tanner said.

Statewide, troopers made 161 arrests during the same time period, down from 194 in 2010.

“We’re going in the right direction, but these numbers are still too high,” State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste said in a release. “There’s just no excuse for putting yourself and others at risk by driving while impaired.”

The state patrol is aware of three fatal collisions during the holiday weekend, one of which involved drugs or alcohol.

Through Nov. 30, Troopers arrested 20,130 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence this year, a state patrol bulletin said.