Police beef up DUI patrols through the end of year

Here come the holidays — a time for pumpkin pie, presents and patrol cars.

Starting today through New Year’s Day, extra officers will be out and about in Snohomish County in search of drunken drivers.

Two years ago, during the period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, cops from around Snohomish County arrested 409 people for DUI.

Last year, the Washington State Patrol alone made 261 DUI arrests during the holiday stretch in Snohomish County. Statewide, there were 1,876 holiday DUI arrests.

“We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but if people would just listen to the warnings they’d be a lot better off,” trooper Keith Leary said. “We’re telling them we’re going to be out there. We’re not making it a secret.”

The state patrol expects to have up to 50 more troopers along roadways in Northwest Washington at designated times through the end of the year. “That’s not counting the city departments or the sheriff’s departments,” Leary said.

In each of the past three years, at least one person has died in Snohomish County in crashes involving a drunken driver between Thanksgiving and Jan. 1.

In 2009, four longtime friends from Clearview were killed when a drunken driver crashed into their vehicle along Highway 9 near Marysville as they returned home from planning a birthday party. A Snohomish man pleaded guilty to four counts of vehicular homicide, admitting he had been drinking and caused the fatal crash. He was sentenced to prison.

In December 2011, an Everett man, 24, killed a pedestrian the day after Christmas by knocking him off a walkway on the U.S. 2 trestle. Sentencing is set for January.

“We want it to be a safe holiday,” Leary said. “We don’t want a tragedy to happen as it has the past three years.”

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Turkey talk: Kindergartners explain the Thanksgiving holiday

Our annual pilgrimage led us this year to Pathfinder Kindergarten Center in Everett.

Police locate suspect in Snohomish River after he fled

They used a thermal-imaging camera to locate the man in the water near Dagmars Marina.

Electrical fire on roof of Marysville school extinguished

There was no apparent structural damage to Cascade Elementary School.

As police closed in, 2 heavily armed pot-shop robbers fled

Cops surrounded the place in Mountlake Terrace. The suspects were tracked by dogs and apprehended nearby.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

In Sultan, there was a seat at the table for everyone

Every year, the town’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving.

Most Read