Police officers across the state will increase DUI patrols Aug. 17 through Sept. 3 during what is typically the deadliest time of the year on state roadways.
The King County Target Zero Task Force, police departments from Algona, Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Issaquah, Lake Forest Park, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Normandy Park, Pacific, Port of Seattle, Redmond, Sammamish, Seatac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, Tukwila and the Washington State Patrol will participate in the emphasis patrols in search of drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Drivers impaired by alcohol, marijuana and other drugs are involved in nearly half of all traffic deaths in Washington, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC). In 2017, 250 people were killed in such crashes.
A new WTSC report provides insights into what has become the most common form of driver impairment — poly-drug use (two or more drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs). Beginning in 2012, the number of poly-drug impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes has increased by an average of 15 percent every year.
As of 2016, one in four of all Washington traffic deaths involve a poly-drug impaired driver, according to state officials. The most common combination is alcohol and marijuana.