WSP to conduct impaired driver emphasis patrols
Last updated 12/27/2019 at 1:38pm
OLYMPIA — Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers will be out looking for impaired drivers this week in preparation for the New Year. In a Dec. 27 news release, state officials said patrols will be increased to include troopers brought out to supplement regularly assigned patrols.
The State Patrol has partnered with five other states to form the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition: Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona. These extra patrols will include specially trained troopers to help identify and detect drug impaired drivers.
Most WSP troopers receive additional training in drug impaired driver detection. This training, Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) is specifically focused on detecting drivers impaired by drugs. Troopers trained as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) will also be out to assist in identifying and detecting drug impaired drivers. DREs receive training to identify what drugs a driver may be impaired by.
State Patrol officials note it is illegal everywhere in America to drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines or any potentially impairing drug–prescribed or over the counter. There are many misconceptions about marijuana use, including “stories” that marijuana can’t impair you or that marijuana use can actually make you a safer driver.
Several scientific studies indicate these assertions are false. Driving while impaired by any substance — legal or illegal — puts you and others in harm’s way.
The Western States Traffic Safety Coalition encourages everyone to plan ahead, especially when celebrating the holiday, and to never drive impaired or high. New Year's Eve may feel like the ultimate party night, but police will be alert throughout the region for alcohol and/or drug impaired drivers.