Saturday's DUI, safety patrol results in 14 arrests

Saturday’s DUI & Traffic Safety emphasis patrol netted 14 DUI arrests on state Routes 512, 161 and 167.

This emphasis is part of Pierce County’s monthly patrols, and also part of a six-week statewide campaign, “Drive Hammered – Get Nailed,” which will run through January.

The patrol was dedicated to Sarah and Gary Barkus, a father and daughter who were killed on state Route 512 in August 1999 while returning from a weekend trip.

The drunk driver crossed the median and slammed into the family minivan, killing the two, and leaving Gary’s wife and Sarah’s best friend seriously injured.

The driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 25 percent and two prior alcohol-related offenses. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 years and two months in jail.

Directly prior to the emphasis patrol, the Barkus family was introduced to the participating officers, and three of the family members rode along with police on Saturday night.

The officers were also shown pictures of the “Don’t Drink and Drive” memorial road signs along the three highways that they would be patrolling that evening.

“It’s not about how many tickets we can write,” said Washington State Patrol Lt. John Martin. “It’s about how many lives we can save tonight.”

Officers participated from Bonney Lake, Fife, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Puyallup, Puyallup Tribal, Roy, 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 joined them.

Fort Lewis Military Police and McChord Air Force Base Security Forces participated 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.