DUI patrols will target St. Patty's Day drinkers

The Island County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol will be on the lookout for drunk drivers who are out partying during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Emphasis patrols as part of the statewide "Keep Your Luck and Don’t Drive Drunk" effort will be conducted by law enforcement throughout Island County between March 11 and March 20.

During the same time period last year, a total number of 17 DUI arrests were made in Island County, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

“Drunk or drugged driving remains the leading cause of death in traffic crashes. These preventable crashes can be eliminated if everyone works to become a part of the solution,” said Lowell Porter, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

In 2009, traffic crashes killed 491 people on Washington’s roadways. Impaired drivers accounted for 53.8 percent of the total (264 deaths), according to the commission.

Most fatality collisions that include an impaired-driver on Washington roads happen during nighttime hours, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. From 2000 through 2009, a total of 67.4 percent of fatal car crashes occurred at night.

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