DUI emphasis patrol arrests climb past 2,000

Law enforcement officers made 11 DUI arrests during the September emphasis patrol Saturday night, pushing the total past the 2,000 level since the program started in January 1998.

Officers from most police agencies in Pierce County participate, rotating jurisdictions each month and dedicating the patrols to victims of impaired driving crashes.

This month’s patrol in Lakewood and Steilacoom was dedicated to 16-year-old Jason Kitchen, who was killed in July 2000 after the car in which he was a passenger crashed at a high rate of speed.

The car’s driver had consumed beer and smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

Last Saturday’s patrol involved officers from Bonney Lake, Fife, Lakewood, Milton, Puyallup, Ruston, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma, and University Place police departments, deputies from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, troopers from the Washington State Patrol, and agents from the state Liquor Control Board.

Fort Lewis Military Police and McChord Air Force Base Security Forces held simultaneous patrols on their respective installations.

The monthly patrols are coordinated by the Tacoma/Pierce County DUI Task Force and supported by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.