For the next six weeks, extra Pierce County law enforcement will be out patrolling for impaired drivers as part of a new statewide campaign Drive Hammered – Get Nailed.
Officers will patrol their own jurisdictions except for the emphasis on Saturday, Nov. 23, where local officers will concentrate on the roadways of State Route 512, 167 and 161 as part of the areas monthly DUI and traffic safety emphasis patrol. Law enforcement agencies have received overtime funding from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to put extra officers on the streets between Nov. 16 and Jan. 1.
The emphasis patrol on Saturday will be dedicated to Gary and Sarah Barkus. The father and daughter were killed in August 1999 when a drunk driver who crossed the median on State Route 512 struck their minivan.
The driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .25 percent and two prior alcohol-related convictions. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to an exceptional sentence of 14 years and 2 months.
Officers from Bonney Lake, Buckley, DuPont, Eatonville, Edgewood, Fife, Fircrest, Lakewood, Milton, Orting, Puyallup, Puyallup Tribal, Roy, Ruston, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma, University Place and Wilkeson police departments will participate in the holiday campaign. Pierce County Sheriff deputies, Washington State Patrol troopers and agents from the state Liquor Control Board will join them. Fort Lewis Military Police and McChord Air Force Base Security Forces will participate simultaneously 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.