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County nabs 18 DUI drivers during patrols

Island County law enforcement agencies issued 18 DUI citations in 17 days as part of a statewide enforcement campaign, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

State officials said the crackdown here and across Washington helped prevent drunk-driving deaths this summer.

“Washington had four traffic fatalities during the Labor Day weekend, and none involved drugs or alcohol,” said Lowell Porter, director of the commission.

“It has been six years since a Labor Day holiday was free from a traffic death due to alcohol.”

The agency’s emphasis campaign, “Drive Hammered — Get Nailed,” was from Aug. 15 through

Sept. 1, and 268 law enforcement agencies participated. Statewide, 1,797 citations for driving under the influence were issued, Porter said.

Traffic fatalities in the state are also declining,

Porter said.

As of Sept. 2, there were 319, compared to 364 for the same period a year ago and 378 in 2006.

Although the recent campaign was more intense, DUI patrols have been taking place statewide since Feb. 15 as part of a program called “X52: Extra Patrols, Every Week.”

Funded by grants from the commission as part of the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, also known as Target Zero, the goal is to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.

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