St. Patrick’s Day patrols nab 95 Snohomish County drivers

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and other police agencies in Washington worked extra traffic safety patrols March 5-18 during a St. Patrick’s Day “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” campaign that nabbed more than 1,000 impaired drivers.

Preliminary results show that 1,063 impaired drivers were arrested across the state during this two-week crackdown. Ninety-five of those drivers were arrested in Snohomish County.

Extra patrols were paid through an overtime grant sponsored by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. In addition to the patrols, DUI and Target Zero Task Force members visited 22 liquor establishments prior to Saint Patrick’s Day weekend and handed out traffic safety information. Information included a “Click It 2 Ride” card that patrons could scan with their smart phone to access local taxicab company phone numbers.

“Ultimately, it is each person’s responsibility to make the right choice,” said Conrad Thompson, Chair of the Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Task Force. “Everyone needs to think before they drink so they have a safe ride home planned ahead of time.”

Data show 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).

Law enforcement agencies in Snohomish County that participated included: Arlington, Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Tulalip Tribal Police, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the WSP Target Zero Team and the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

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