Extra DUI patrols on Spokane and Whitman County roads

SPOKANE, Wash. — As you’re making plans for your weekend, carve out a few extra seconds to double down on plans for getting home from your events. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, a national campaign, is underway. Our region is getting involved and our roads could benefit from extra attention and patrols.

In the last two years, we’ve had more impaired driving fatalities in Spokane County than the previous three years combined. Drunk driving accounts for 60 percent of all fatalities, and they’re all completely preventable.

Spokane County DUI Stats

Spokane County DUI Stats

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“It’s frustrating to know there are still people out there today that are driving under the influence because this is 100 percent preventable, so many times, so many ways,” Amanda Dugger explained.

Dugger’s daughter’s best friend was hit and killed by a drunk driver in 2016, and she saw it happen.

She always encourages people to make a plan for a safe ride home, in advance.

“Everyone plans different events in their life, so why not plan a fun night out with your friends and if you know you’ll be drinking, have a designated driver. Have an Uber ready. Find a spot to stay at,” Dugger said.

In Spokane County, impaired driving accounts for the majority of traffic fatalities.

John Griffin, Target Zero Manager with Spokane County, works to get those numbers to zero and says, we can all play a part in this whether it’s planning for ourselves, supporting others, intervening, or parenting.

“If they’re just supportive, set driving rules, then monitor the driving behavior of their young person, that young person is half as likely to be involved in a crash as someone whose parents aren’t involved in that way,” Griffin explained.

These days, it’s not just drunk driving, either. Any substances, including prescription drugs, can account for impairment behind the wheel.

“I want everyone to have a good time and get home so that tomorrow they can go out and have another good time,” Griffin added.

Also, if you see someone on the road who appears to be impaired, call it in.

“We hate to see your family have to share a story or waking up in jail knowing that you killed somebody,” Dugger said.

Extra patrols will be out on August 20, August 27, and September 2, and funding for those patrols come as a grant from the Federal Government.

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