Extra DUI patrols begin this week

Officers to work OT thanks to grant funding

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor

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Police will work overtime in Clark County over the next two weeks as they seek to arrest more drunken drivers.

The extra patrols, which occur every year during popular events involving alcohol, begin Friday and run through the July 4 weekend. They are funded by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and supported by the Clark County Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force.

According to a news release from the commission, traffic deaths that involve a drunk and/or drugged driver are highest during the summer months in Washington. From 2005 through 2009, more than 20 percent of all impaired driver-involved traffic deaths occurred during June and July.

“Encouragingly, 2010 preliminary data shows that the number of deaths involving a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs decreased by 17 percent from the previous 5-year average of 276. I think this shows that more of Washington’s citizens are choosing to drive sober. However, with 229 deaths, we still have a long way to go. Even one life lost as a result of an impaired driver is unacceptable,” said Lowell Porter, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.