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Police launch ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign

Summer is a time for parties and picnics in the sun, but don’t let a DUI ruin your fun, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission warned this week.

Even though Washington legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older, it is still illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana or alcohol, the agency said in a news release.

“Specifically, we want people to know that marijuana doubles the risk of a fatal crash,” said Darrin Grondel, Traffic Safety Commission Director.

“With new retail marijuana stores in the mix, we want to remind the public that prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as illegal and recreational drugs, can impair driving ability,” Grondel said.

From Aug. 15-Sept. 1,  extra officers will be on roads in Island and Skagit counties looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs during the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Many of these officers have special training to identify when a driver is under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol.

Drivers are encouraged to find alternative transportation or ride with a sober designated driver.

“More people may be using marijuana recreationally, but that should never be mixed with driving,” said Lt. Rob Sharpe, Commander of the Washington State Patrol Impaired Driving Section.

Lt. Sharpe noted that law enforcement has been arresting drugged drivers for a long time and will continue to identify and arrest drivers who make the poor choice to drive under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs.

Additionally, law enforcement reminds young drivers that impairment laws are much stricter for anyone under the age of 21.

 

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