Hopefully 2013 will be different than the last five holiday seasons. From 2008-2012, an average of 49 people died in traffic crashes in Washington between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
DUI is still the leading cause of traffic death, however it doesn’t have to be that way and that is why, between Nov. 27 and Jan. 1, extra officers will be looking for drivers under the influence on Washington roadways.
This year, law enforcement from Clark County up through Cowlitz, Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor Counties will on a multi-county brigade in search of DUIs each weekend from Thanksgiving through New Years.
To reach a goal of zero traffic deaths takes effort from everyone. Please join law enforcement in working toward zero traffic deaths. Make sure all the people at your Thanksgiving table are also around to celebrate the New Year. Visit www.WAdrivetozero.com to review important safety tips, such as:
- Call 911 if you see a suspected DUI driver on the roads, but not before pulling over yourself.
- If you drink, use marijuana, or take other drugs, don’t drive. Make transportation plans beforehand.
- If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests get home safely! Plan to have sober designated drivers available. Buy a few extra air mattresses so guests can stay the night. If it’s an office party, limit alcohol, provide shuttle service or book hotel rooms. Remember, as a party host, you are liable for the actions of the people who leave your party intoxicated.
- Talk with your children about alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. Help them understand the ways alcohol and marijuana use can harm their bodies, their brains, and their future. Let them know that they can call you instead of ever getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking, using marijuana or taking drugs. www.starttalkingnow.org
- Give the best gift of all at the Holiday Season with the Designated Driver Gift Card found at http://wadrivetozero.com/gift-cards/.
- Addiction is a complex issue. If you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol, marijuana or drug abuse, call the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1 (866) 789-1511. http://warecoveryhelpline.org/
The Centralia, Chehalis, Morton, Toledo and Winlock Police Departments, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol are working towards zero traffic deaths by participating in this Holiday Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The Lewis County DUI 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.