Luck won't stop DUI arrests on St. Patrick's Day

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — The Arlington, Marysville and Tulalip Tribal police departments will be looking for impaired drivers from March 5-18, during the St. Patrick's "Drive Hammered, Get Nailed" campaign, thanks to an overtime grant sponsored through the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

"With St. Patrick's falling on a weekend, area liquor establishments may have more customers drinking too much 'green beer' than in past years," said Tracy McMillan, Snohomish County DUI and Target Zero manager. "We want to encourage those choosing to celebrate to make plans ahead of time to get home safely."

Task Force members will be partnering with area establishments and making on-premise visits to be sure everyone gets home safely. Snohomish County — as well as King and Pierce counties — is partnering on the Target Zero Teams project and will use additional grant money to put more enforcement teams on roadways during this campaign.

Data shows that between 2005 and 2011 in Washington state, 21 out of 39 traffic deaths around the St. Patrick's Day holiday, or 53.8 percent, involved an impaired driver. In 2010 in Snohomish County, 19 out of 32 traffic deaths involved an impaired driver, or 59 percent, higher than the state average of 238 out of 460, or 52 percent.

"Alcohol not only dangerously impairs your driving skills, it also impairs your judgment," said Conrad Thompson, chair of the Snohomish County DUI and Target Zero Task Force. "If you see friends or acquaintances under the influence of alcohol or drugs, make sure you don't let them get behind the wheel."

Law enforcement agencies in Snohomish County that will be participating include not only the Arlington, Marysville and Tulalip Tribal police departments, but also those of Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace and Mukilteo, as well as the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, the Washington State Patrol Target Zero Team and the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

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