Luck won’t stop DUI arrests for tipsy St. Patrick’s Day revelers

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Area police agencies, including Edmonds police and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, will be looking for impaired drivers from now through March 18 during the St. Patrick’s “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” campaign

“With St. Patrick’s falling on a weekend, area liquor establishments may have more customers drinking too much ‘green beer’ than in past years,” said Tracy McMillan, Snohomish County DUI and Target Zero manager. “We want to encourage those choosing to celebrate to make plans ahead of time to get home safely.”

Thanks to an overtime grant sponsored through the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, task force members will be partnering with area establishments and making on-premise visits. Snohomish County – as well as King and Pierce counties –  will use additional grant money to put more enforcement teams on roadways during this campaign.

Data shows that between 2005 and 2011 in Washington state, 53.8 percent (21 out of 39) of traffic deaths around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday involved an impaired driver. In 2010 in Snohomish County, 59 percent of traffic deaths involved an impaired driver (19 out of 32) – higher than the state average of 52 percent (238 out of 460).

“Alcohol not only dangerously impairs your driving skills, it also impairs your judgment,” said Conrad Thompson, chair of the Snohomish County DUI and Target Zero Task Force. If you see friends or acquaintances under the influence of alcohol or drugs, make sure you don’t let them get behind the wheel.”

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