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December 22, 1997

Local News

Holiday emphasis on DUI

  A special unit of the sergeant and six troopers, deployed from regular traffic duties, will be on alert again this week as the Washington State Patrol targets DUI violations during December in King County for the fifth year in a row. The unit, working in 10-hour shifts, will be on patrol from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m. this Wednesday through Sunday, then during the same time frame Dec. 24-28. They made 42 arrests last week to total 145 in the three weeks of the emphasis patrol so far. A special unit totaled 237 arrests during the five weeks of last year's emphasis.
  
   December traffic deaths in King County were averaging nearly 18 since 1938, with a high of 37 in 1967. With aggressive DUI emphasis and constant assistance and attention from the media, December traffic fatalities in the county have averaged 8 during the last four years--1 in 1993, 7 in 1994, 12 in 1995, and 12 last year. Three of the four traffic fatalities in the last four years were alcohol-related. The 1996 count included four pedestrians. Three fatalities, all pedestrians, have been reported in the county so far this month--one in Renton Dec. 2 and two in Redmond Dec. 9.