Police will be out in force over the holiday weekend looking for people driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
The Target Zero Thurston County DUI Emphasis Patrol starts Thursday and will continue through Monday. Officers from numerous agencies will work shifts specifically on the lookout for drunken or drugged drivers.
About 20 extra officers from the Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Tenino, Yelm, Chehalis Tribe and Nisqually tribal police departments, as well as the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol will participate.
In 2011, 454 people were killed in crashes statewide, with impaired driving a factor in 43.8 percent of those deaths.
There were six impaired drivers arrested during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day emphasis patrol.
“Collision reduction is and always will be our goal,” said State Patrol spokesperson Guy Gill. “Troopers will be out trying to remove as many impaired drivers as possible from our roads.
“We believe that when an impaired driver is stopped, a collision is prevented.”
Those who choose to drink over the holiday weekend are asked to arrange for a ride or take a cab home, and to not drink and drive.
“Making the choice to get behind the wheel and drive impaired puts so many people at risk,” Gill said. “There’s always another option you choose to get to your destination; it’s not worth taking a chance.”