August 22, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 18

Driving under the influence patrols underway

Several law enforcement agencies in Spokane, Whitman, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties will be conducting emphasis patrols looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs during the annual “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

Cheney and Airway Heights along with Eastern Washington University police departments will have extra officers on duty from now through Sept. 2 as part of the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force, which organizes and supports these enforcement efforts.

Target Zero’s goal is to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on Washington roadways by 2030. Also taking part in the patrols will be police agencies in Colfax, Washington State University, Pullman and Republic, along with sheriff’s offices in Whitman, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties and the Washington State Patrol.

While Washington voters legalized marijuana last November for those age 21 and older it is still illegal and dangerous to drive under its influence. Studies have found that marijuana-positive drivers are twice as likely to be involved in accidents as other drivers.

In last year’s campaign during the same time period, local law enforcement officers arrested 133 individuals for DUI. In all of 2012, agencies in Spokane, Whitman, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties charged 2,586 people for DUI.

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