Clark County law enforcement is hitting the roads for heightened DUI enforcement during the holidays.
The extra patrols began Wednesday, according to a Washington Traffic Safety Commission news release.
The Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver and Washougal police departments, as well as the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol, have joined the more than 145 participating agencies statewide.
The patrols will run through Jan. 2. The additional officers, deputies and troopers will be on the lookout for drivers impaired by alcohol, marijuana and other substances.
Nearly half of all traffic deaths in Washington involve an impaired driver.
Drivers who are impaired by more than one substance, referred to by law enforcement as poly-drug drivers, are the most common type of impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes.
The number of poly-drug drivers has increased an average of 15 percent every year since 2012. By 2016, poly-drug drivers were more than double the number of alcohol-only drivers and five times higher than the number of drivers impaired by marijuana who were involved in fatal crashes, according to the traffic safety commission.
“Most people believe driving impaired is unacceptable and will make plans for a sober ride when celebrating this holiday season,” said Mark Medalen, program manager at the commission. “We encourage everyone to make a plan before they party, so they can return home safely.”