DUI patrols ready for St. Patrick's Day weekend

Law enforcement agencies will be participating in emphasis patrols both nights this weekend, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
On Friday evening, officers will gather in Puyallup for the monthly DUI and traffic safety emphasis patrol.
This emphasis patrol is dedicated to Shawn Fairbanks, 37, who was killed on River Road in November 1999.
Before causing the fiery crash that killed Fairbanks, the drunk driver crashed into three other vehicles and kept going.
Even after the fatal crash, the driver fled the scene to a nearby tavern.
With two prior DUIs, the drunk driver pleaded guilty and is serving 10 years for vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and three counts of hit and run.
On Saturday night, officers will stay in their own jurisdictions and enforce traffic safety laws, which include impaired driving.
St. Patrick’s Day is usually a big drinking day and this year it falls on a weekend.
Last year during St. Patric’’s Day weekend, 51 motorists were arrested for DUI, the second highest number in the five-year history of the emphasis patrols.
Only New Year’s Eve in 1999/2000 had more DUI arrests. Officers from Bonney Lake, Buckley, DuPont, Eatonville, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Puyallup, Puyallup Tribal, Roy, Ruston, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma, University Place and Wilkeson police departments will participate in one or both of the emphasis patrols.
They will be joined by officers from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Washington State Patrol and agents from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
McChord Security Forces and Fort Lewis Military Police will participate by simultaneously holding emphasis patrols on their respective bases.
The emphasis patrols are coordinated by the Tacoma/Pierce County DUI Task Force and supported by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.