We all know from the Police Blotter that, every week, the Bainbridge Island Police are involved in dealing with the fallout of drunk drivers, either in terms of the damage they have caused or the headaches they give the police through their behavior post-traffic stop (see the recent Police Blotter for an excellent example). But from November 21, 2012, through January 1, 2013, people were even more likely to get pulled over for DUI. That’s because Washington State Patrol and Kitsap County Target Zero Task Force worked with Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, and Suquamish Police Departments and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office to step up DUI patrols as part of a first-time campaign called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
The extra patrols were funded by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC). Dealing with impaired drivers is one of the top priorities of the WTSC, which has set the goal of reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero by 2013. They work toward this goal through trying to resolve traffic safety issues, gathering and analyzing data, distributing funds, and conducting public education campaigns. Most of their funding comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
During the window of extra patrols, 148 motorists were stopped in Kitsap County alone and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). Last year in Kitsap County, during the same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 144 people for DUI. Statewide this year, law enforcement officers arrested 3,446 drivers for DUI.