WSP increasing DUI patrols through New Year's Eve - KPTV - FOX 12

WSP increasing DUI patrols through New Year's Eve

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

Increased patrolling for DUI drivers has started in Washington now through New Year's Eve.

The increased patrolling is part of Washington State Patrol's yearly campaign to promote safe and sober driving during the holidays. It kicked off Friday night with their "Night of 1,000 Stars" briefing in Vancouver.

WSP statistics show deadly crashes involving drivers impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs have more than doubled in the last six years.

Trooper Jeff Heath pulled over two cars while FOX 12 tagged along for his nightly patrol on Washington roads. He said he looks for signs of speeding, following too closely, and drifting in and out of lanes.

Heath says he's not extremely selective about who he pulls over, because he says he doesn't know the lives he could have saved due to that traffic stop.

"Every DUI driver that we stop and arrest, if they had not been stopped and arrested that night, how many would have gone on to kill somebody? Either that evening, or that week, or next month, or next year? You know, you can't measure the impact we have through the community on stopping and arresting impaired drivers," said Trooper Heath.

"Keep picking on people. I mean, you know a lot of DUI offenders who I know may say, 'oh the cops are just picking on me.' I hope they keep on picking on them so that they can not make those, or create those crashes, preventable crashes," said Jack Fletcher.

Fletcher is a DUI crash survivor who often speaks about his experience being hit head-on by someone driving under the influence.

Trooper Heath stressed how important the calls are they receive from the public about possible DUI drivers. 

Anyone who sees someone driving erratically on the road is asked to call 911.

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