GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, Wash. - DUI is the leading cause of death on Washington roadways, accountable for nearly half of the 439 fatalities on our roads during 2012. That’s why between August 16 and September 2 extra officers will be looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs during the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Even though Washington legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older, it is still illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana. Studies have found that marijuana-positive drivers are twice as likely to crash as other drivers.* Marijuana use can slow reaction time, decrease the ability of a driver to maintain lane position, and diminish the ability to pay attention to the tasks of driving. It also interferes with a driver’s ability to perform divided-attention tasks, such as steering and maintaining vehicle speed at the same time.
Officers can tell when a driver is experiencing other effects of marijuana influence such as relaxed inhibitions, altered perception of time and distance, disorientation, incomplete thought processes and increased pulse.
Deputy Brad Russell has 23 years experience in law enforcement and is a 14 year veteran with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department. He says “I personally feel working emphasis patrols give us an opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive. By removing DUI drivers before they cause crashes our work is making Grays Harbor County roadways safer. When on patrol I have a zero tolerance approach to DUIs. If I pull you over and you are under the influence of alcohol or any drug you will be arrested.”
The goal of these extra patrols is to keep you and your family safe during this vacation travel time. If you see a DUI, please call 911. Remember, the safest thing is not to drive at all after drinking or using marijuana or other drugs.
Last year in Grays Harbor County, during the same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 16 people for DUI. For all of 2012, in Grays Harbor County, 427 people were charged with DUI.**
The Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, Elma, Hoquiam, Montesano and Ocean Shores Police Departments, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington State Patrol will participate in this Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The Grays Harbor Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort.
These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com. Additional information on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission can be found on the website, www.wtsc.wa.gov.