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Whidbey Island: Law enforcement to crack down on impaired drivers

Starting this week, police will crack down on impaired driving across Whidbey Island.

As a part of a statewide program, Island County officers from multiple law enforcement agencies will be on a mission to catch DUI drivers between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1.

Participating in this summer’s "Drive Hammered, Get Nailed" enforcement campaign are the Island County Sheriff’s Office, the Oak Harbor Police Department, the Coupeville Marshall’s Office and the Washington State Patrol.

While officers on Whidbey Island will be especially watchful during the two-week program, extra DUI patrols have been taking place statewide since Feb. 15.

Since then, police in Island County stopped 170 motorists and issued 27 citations. Three people have also been arrested for DUI.

In Washington, the leading factor contributing to traffic deaths is driver impairment.

During 2007, traffic crashes killed 568 people on Washington’s roadways. Impaired driver-involved fatalities accounted for approximately 46 percent of those deaths.

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

“As one who has knocked on doors at 3 a.m. to deliver the worst news possible to a loved one, I strongly urge all Washington drivers to help make 2008 a safer year than we had during 2007,” Porter said.

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