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Law Enforcement Officers Know When You’re Driving Under the Influence

Local DUI Officers Credited For Saving Lives Everyday

This is one sample of news releases customized by county throughout Washington state.

Grant-Adams Counties, WA — DUI is the leading cause of death on Washington roadways, accountable for nearly half of the 439 fatalities on our roads during 2012. That’s why between August 16 and September 2 extra officers will be looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs during the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

Even though Washington legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older, it is still illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana. Studies have found that marijuana-positive drivers are twice as likely to crash as other drivers.* Marijuana use can slow reaction time, decrease the ability of a driver to maintain lane position, and diminish the ability to pay attention to the tasks of driving. It also interferes with a driver’s ability to perform divided-attention tasks, such as steering and maintaining vehicle speed at the same time.

Officers can tell when a driver is experiencing other effects of marijuana influence such as relaxed inhibitions, altered perception of time and distance, disorientation, incomplete thought processes and increased pulse.

WSP Trooper Ryan Raymond has undergone additional training as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) which enables him to identify alcohol and drug impaired drivers. He is also a DRE Instructor. Ryan says “Preventing impaired driving is not only my professional duty, but it is very personal to me as well.  I lost one of my best friends to an impaired driver when I was a teenager which left a lasting impact on my life.”

The goal of these extra patrols is to keep you and your family safe during this vacation travel time. If you see a DUI, please call 911. Remember, the safest thing is not to drive at all after drinking or using marijuana or other drugs.

Last year in Grant and Adams Counties during the same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 61 people for DUI. For all of 2012, in Grant and Adams Counties 867 people were charged with DUI.**

The Ephrata, Moses Lake, Quincy and Royal City Police Departments, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol will participate in this Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

The Central Basin Traffic Safety Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort.

These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com.

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* Gerberich SG, Sidney S, Braun BL, Tekawa IS, Tolan KK, and Quesenberry CP (2003).  Marijuana use and injury events resulting in hospitalization.  Annals of Epidemiology 2004, 13, 230-237.
** According to the Administrative Office of the Courts: http://www.courts.wa.gov/caseload/?fa=caseload.showReport&level=d&freq=a&tab=CourtLevel&fileID=rpt07