Don’t let Halloween turn into a nightmare

From Public Health-Seattle & King County:

Extra DUI enforcement out this weekend in King and Pierce counties

Extra law enforcement will be out in King and Pierce counties this Halloween weekend looking for impaired drivers. Halloween weekend has historically been a dangerous time on local roads due to the high number people driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Patrols will begin Friday evening and continue through the weekend.

“Impaired drivers are the scariest things on our roads this weekend,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County. “Treat everyone to a fun and safe Halloween by driving sober or planning a safe ride home. Designate a sober driver, ride a bus or use cabs this weekend.”

Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to the high number of impaired drivers on the roads. In 2009, nearly half (48 percent) of all national highway fatalities on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Over the last three years, 581 people were arrested across King and Pierce counties for DUI over Halloween weekend.

Traffic crashes kill or seriously injure hundreds of people in King County each year, and driving impaired is a leading cause of these crashes. In 2010, 44 percent of all traffic fatalities in King County and 47 percent of all traffic fatalities in Pierce County involved an impaired driver. For every person killed in King County in an impaired driver-involved crash in 2010, another three people were seriously injured.

Extra patrols are coordinated by Target Zero Managers in King and Pierce counties, with support from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. This work is part of an ongoing partnership with law enforcement, public health and community partners to reach the Washington State Target Zero goal of eliminating all fatal and serious injury crashes by 2030.

Participating agencies include Target Zero Team officers and troopers from the Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Lakewood, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Snoqualmie, University Place, Seattle Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington State Patrol.