Drinking & Driving St. Patty’s Weekend Will Cost You Lots of ‘Green’ From DUI Emphasis Patrols
St. Patrick's Day is one of the most heavily-monitored holidays when it comes to DUI patrols.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent statistics, more than 103 people died last year from St. Patrick's Day alcohol-related auto accidents. Over 37 percent of motorists nabbed on or around the holiday for DUIs had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
While the winter holidays still outrank St. Patty's for total DUI arrests, St. Patrick's Day is the fastest-growing period for drivers found driving drunk.
For that reason, all law enforcement agencies in the Mid-Columbia are engaged in DUI emphasis patrols that will last through Monday, March 18. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 55 motorists were arrested in 2012 during the St. Patrick's patrol in Benton and Franklin counties.
The emphasis patrols will include police from Richland, Pasco, Kennewick and West Richland plus Benton and Franklin sheriffs and the Washington State Patrol. It's part of the Target Zero program with a goal to bring DUI related fatalities to 0 by the year 2030.
Washington state has some of the highest fines and penalties for DUI arrests and convictions in the nation.