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Law enforcement agencies planning emphasis patrols

Between Aug. 12 and Sept. 6, extra DUI patrols will travel Kitsap County roadways in search of impaired drivers.

One of those extra patrols is scheduled for night.

This Drive Hammered, Get Nailed will be the largest summer DUI enforcement campaign ever, with 178 agencies participating throughout the state.

Participating locally in the effort are the Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton and Port Orchard Police Departments, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol.

According to WSP, Washington experiences its greatest number of alcohol or drug-impaired, driver-involved traffic deaths (31 percent of the total impaired driving deaths) during the summer months between 2000 and 2009).

And Labor Day weekend is one of Washington’s deadliest holidays, averaging more than seven deaths each year.

Impaired driving is the leading factor in traffic deaths in Washington.

Last year, impaired drivers contributed to the deaths of more than half of the 491 people who died on Washington’s roadways.

The 264 impaired driver–involved deaths in 2009 represent a decrease of nine fatalities compared to the previous five year average of 273.

“Impaired driving continues to be the No. 1 factor contributing to traffic deaths both nationally and in Washington,” said Lowell Porter, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, “and is therefore the top priority for traffic safety professionals across the country.

“Every life lost at the hands of an impaired driver is preventable,” he said, “which makes each tragic death even more painful to the families and friends who suffer the loss of a loved one.”

Although this emphasis patrol is occurring during the summer, law enforcement statewide conducts extra DUI enforcement throughout the year.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission funds grants for the extra patrols called X52, which is a part of Washington’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, also known as Target Zero.

The goal of Target Zero is to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.

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