2014 Summertime DUI Arrests Significantly Down
The results from the first two weeks of the summertime DUI emphasis patrols throughout the State of Washington have been reported. During this time, 367 drivers were stopped resulting in 33 DUI arrests, reports KVEW TV. This is a significant decrease from the number of stops and arrests from the prior year.
In some areas of the state, some patrols have been terminated. DUI emphasis patrols in the Tri-Cities were dissolved after the first few weeks of the month due to not having enough "manpower."
The summertime DUI emphasis patrols began July 1, 2014 and the reported data reflect the number of stops and arrests through July 13, 2014. The DUI emphasis patrols included a concerted effort and extra campaigns from local law enforcement agencies and the Washington State Patrol.
Along with the 33 DUI arrests, officers also cited drivers for a variety of traffic violations including speeding, distracted driving, driving without a valid license, and seatbelt violations.
During the same span of time during the 2013 summertime DUI emphasis patrols, officers stopped 407 drivers and arrested 47 drivers for driving under the influence.
Authorities target the summer months for its summertime DUI emphasis patrols as it is a notorious time for drunk driving. Many students are home from school and individuals are generally out later enjoying the summer weather. Accordingly, there are many more DUI arrests during these months as compared to other times of the year (except for the holiday season, which tends to see a significant increase). The summertime DUI emphasis patrols are part of the State of Washington's "Target Zero" campaign which seeks to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries related to drunk driving to zero by the year 2030.
Overall, I have witnessed a decrease in DUI arrests not only during these past few months, but throughout the year. In my opinion, there are two primary factors: First, there is a significant decrease in officers on the roadway. The City of Bellevue Police Department has dozens of job openings for officers. The Washington State Patrol has 300 positions available throughout the state. Second, I believe that people are being smarter and choosing alternative means of getting home should they be out drinking.