Newcastle police join summer DUI crackdown

August 15, 2010

By Staff

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NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 15, 2010

Newcastle police and more than 100 other law enforcement agencies started a statewide crackdown on drunken driving last week, as part of the largest-ever summer DUI enforcement push.

The extra patrols — part of the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign — continue through Sept. 6. The campaign started Aug. 12.

The state experiences the greatest number of alcohol- or drug-impaired driver-involved traffic deaths between July and September. In order to combat the problem, 178 agencies statewide signed on to the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed effort from the state Traffic Safety Commission.

Between 2000-09, 31 percent of impaired-driving deaths occurred during the summer. Labor Day weekend averages more than seven deaths each year.

“Impaired driving continues to be the number one factor contributing to traffic deaths both nationally and in Washington, and is therefore the top priority for traffic safety professionals across the country,” Traffic Safety Commission Director Lowell Porter said in a statement. “Every life lost at the hands of an impaired driver is preventable which makes each tragic death even more painful to the families and friends who suffer the loss of a loved one.”

The commission funds grants for the extra patrols — called X-52 — a part of the Target Zero plan to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.

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