From 2008-2012, an average of 49 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in Washington between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Area law enforcement agencies are looking to decrease that this holiday season.
The cities of Cheney, Airway Heights, Colfax, Pullman and Republic along with units from Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, Ferry, Pend Oreille and Whitman county sheriff’s offices and the Washington State Patrol are working towards zero traffic deaths by participating in the Washington State Traffic Commission’s holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” traffic emphasis campaign.
Emphasis patrols begin Nov. 27 and run through Jan. 1, 2014, with extra officers looking for drivers under the influence on Washington roadways.
The WTSC provides the following tips to help with driver safety this holiday season:
- Call 911 if you see a suspected DUI driver on the roads.
- If you drink, use marijuana, or take other drugs, don’t drive. Make plans beforehand for how you’ll get around.
- If you are hosting a party, make sure guests get home safely. Plan to have sober designated drivers available. Buy a few extra air mattresses so guests can stay the night. If it’s an office party, limit alcohol, provide shuttle service or book hotel rooms. Remember, as a party host you are liable for the actions of the people who leave your party intoxicated.
- Talk with your children about alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. Help them understand the ways alcohol and marijuana use can harm their bodies, their brains, and their future. Let them know that they can call you instead of ever getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking, using marijuana or taking drugs.
- Give the best gift of all at the holiday season with the Designated Driver Gift Card found at wadrivetozero.com/gift-cards.
Addiction is a complex issue. If you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol, marijuana or drug abuse, call the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1 (866) 789-1511, or online at warecoveryhelpline.org. The Spokane County Target Zero Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort.