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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Washington to put extra DUI patrols on roads for Labor Day

Summer is the most dangerous time of year for Washington drivers. In fact, state statistics show that nearly 150 people are killed in traffic accidents during the summer months each year.

Impaired driving is one of the top causes of fatal car crashes in Washington throughout the year. In 2016, 277 people died and 371 were seriously hurt in traffic accidents that involved drunk or drugged drivers. To address the issue, the Washington State Patrol will be conducting extra patrols throughout the state between Aug. 18 and Sept. 4. Officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and other traffic violators, such as distracted drivers, reckless drivers and speeders. During the initiative, which is called the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, the WSP will be assisted by several police departments in Whatcom County.

People who intend to go out drinking are encouraged to use a designated driver, walk home with a friend or call for an Uber or Lyft driver. The state hopes to eliminate all fatal and injury traffic accidents by 2030.

Individuals convicted of drunk driving often face harsh consequences, such as significant jail time and expensive fines. They could also have their driving privileges suspended or restricted. However, with the help of a criminal defense attorney, it may be possible to have DUI charges reduced or dismissed. In some cases, an attorney may recommend fighting the charges in court. In other cases, it may be best to negotiate a plea deal that reduces the charges and penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.

Source: Lynden Tribune, "Through Labor Day extra DUI patrols are out", Aug. 16, 2017

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