DUI is the leading cause of death on Washington roadways, accountable for nearly half of the 439 fatalities on our roads during 2012.
That’s why, between Aug. 16 and Sept. 2, extra officers will be looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs during the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Even though Washington legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older, it is still illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana. Studies have found that marijuana-positive drivers are twice as likely to crash as other drivers. Marijuana use can slow reaction time, decrease the ability of a driver to maintain lane position, and diminish the ability to pay attention to the tasks of driving. It also interferes with a driver’s ability to perform divided-attention tasks, such as steering and maintaining vehicle speed at the same time.
Officers can tell when a driver is experiencing other effects of marijuana influence such as relaxed inhibitions, altered perception of time and distance, disorientation, incomplete thought processes and increased pulse.
Sergeant Rob Snaza with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is specially trained in detecting DUIs and is a Narcotics Task Force Supervisor. Snaza says "Don’t take chances. Impaired driving can take your or someone else’s life, cost thousands of dollars in fees, and impact your life in a big way."
The goal of these extra patrols is to keep you and your family safe during this vacation travel time. If you see a DUI, please call 911. Remember, the safest thing is not to drive at all after drinking or using marijuana or other drugs.
Last year in Lewis County, during the same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 26 people for DUI. For all of 2012, in Lewis County, 423 people were charged with DUI.
The Centralia, Chehalis, Morton, Toledo and Winlock Police Departments, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol will participate in this Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The Lewis County Traffic Safety Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort.
These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com. Additional information on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission can be found on the website, www.wtsc.wa.gov.