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Extra patrols in Island County will target DUI drivers

Local law enforcement officials warned drivers this week that extra DUI patrols will be on the road in Island County from June 24 through July 4.

Skagit County authorities are also taking part in the added emphasis patrols, which will be paid for by a grant funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and supported by the Skagit County Traffic Safety Task Force.

Officials said traffic deaths involving drunk or drugged drivers are highest during the summer months. From 2005 through 2009, more than 20 percent of all impaired driver-involved traffic deaths in Washington occurred during June and July.

Statewide, the number of DUI deaths has been falling, officials added.

“Encouragingly, 2010 preliminary “data shows that the number of deaths involving a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs decreased by 17 percent from the previous five-year average of 276. I think this shows that more of Washington’s citizens are choosing to drive sober,” said Lowell Porter, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

“However, with 229 deaths, we still have a long way to go. Even one life lost as a result of an impaired driver is unacceptable,” Porter added.

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