Extra Pierce County DUI patrols planned during holidays

Law enforcement will conduct extra DUI patrols in Pierce County from Thurs., Nov. 24 through Mon., Jan. 2, 2012. Coinciding with this campaign, on Fri., Nov. 25, the Washington State Patrol will conduct a Black Friday emphasis patrol with many of the local participating law enforcement agencies throughout Pierce County.

Public education combined with strict enforcement is a proven method for reducing DUI crashes and fatalities. However, law enforcement officers can’t do it alone. We all need to do our part, just as Carol and Frank Blair are. The Blairs have made it their mission to reduce the carnage caused by drunk drivers. On Feb. 26, 2010, their daughter Sheena was killed when an SUV moved into her lane and hit her head-on. The driver of the SUV had a blood alcohol level of almost three times the legal limit.

While their grief is enormous, Carol and Frank are working to prevent drunk driving by leading many efforts to honor the spirit of Sheena and all other victims of drunk driving crashes. They urge every one to do their part this holiday season to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

“Don’t let our story become your story,” said Frank Blair. “Call a cab. Call a friend. Plan ahead. No matter who you are, someone loves you.”In 2010, Sheena Blair was one of 188 people in Washington who died as a result of a crash involving a drinking driver. Between 2006 and 2010, the five-year total was 1,191.

This is why officers from the Bonney Lake, Dupont, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma and University Place police departments, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol will commit extra patrol hours to make the roadways safer for everyone. These efforts are part of Washington’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2030.

Last year during the same time period, officers in Pierce County on routine and extra patrols arrested 606 people for DUI.

The Tacoma-Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort. Task Force members urge you to join the team to prevent drunk driving.

For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit http://www.wtsc.wa.gov .