A mangled mess is usually the end result when someone combines drugs or alcohol and a motor vehicle. Impaired driving fatalities account for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the US and in Spokane that's no exception.
"Continually we see that impaired driving is one of the leading causes of death on our roadways in Washington State," said Trooper Jeff Sevigney.
To combat that trend, starting next month the Washington State Patrol will be increasing their presence on our roadways.
"Six troopers and a sergeant will be new here in Spokane starting July 1st," said Sevigney.
These are experienced officers who have shown a knack for catching impaired drivers. In fact that will be their number one goal, putting drunk drivers behind bars.
"They have data that shows them where they need to be where they need to be working to prevent those tragedies from occurring," said Sevigney.
These troopers will also be working closely with prosecutors so even if an alleged drunk driver refuses a breathalyzer the officer can get permission for a blood draw.
"Not only the Target Zero troopers but all troopers have the ability to seek warrants for blood if the circumstances dictate that," said Sevigney.
In 2011 Spokane County had 14 impaired driving fatalities. The Target Zero Task Force's goal is zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.
"The bottom line is you can't drive impaired and we want folks to recognize that when they are impaired they have a myriad of choices and we want them to make the right choices and not drive on our roadways," said Sevigney.