Law enforcement agencies throughout Grays Harbor this week launched DUI emphasis patrols, joining more than 145 law enforcement agencies statewide that are adding patrols December 11th through January 2nd. Officers, deputies, and troopers are searching for drivers impaired from alcohol, cannabis or other substances.

“Most people believe driving impaired is unacceptable and will make plans for a sober ride when celebrating this holiday season,” said Mark Medalen, program manager at the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC). “We encourage everyone to make a plan before they party, so they can return home safely.”

Participating in the patrols are:

Aberdeen Police Department
Elma Police Department
Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office
Hoquiam Police Department
Montesano Police Department
Ocean Shores Police Department
Pacific County Sheriff’s Office
Raymond Police Department
Shelton Police Department
South Bend Police Department
Westport Police Department
Washington State Patrol

Nearly half of all traffic deaths in Washington involved an impaired driver. Drivers who are impaired from more than one substance (called poly-drug drivers), are the most common type of impaired driver involved in fatal crashes. The number of poly-drug drivers has increased an average of 15 percent every year since 2012. By 2016, poly-drug drivers were more than double the number of alcohol-only drivers and five times higher than the number of THC (cannabis)-only drivers involved in fatal crashes.

Said Medalen, “Eighty-one percent of Washingtonians don’t let friends drive impaired. Instead, they report that they let friends crash on their couch, call them a cab, arrange rideshare, or provide a designated driver. Giving the gift of a sober ride home means a safer and brighter holiday for everyone.”


The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) is our state’s designated highway safety office. We share a vision with numerous other state and local public agencies. That vision is to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero by 2030. The WTSC Director is the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, which is a designated position each state is required to have in order to qualify for federal traffic safety funding.