Northwest NEWS

December 14, 1998

Local News

Holiday emphasis patrol

A special emphasis unit of six troopers will be on alert again this year as the Washington State Patrol targets Driving under the Influence (DUI) violations during Dec. in King County for the sixth year in a row.

   The unit will work four 10-hour shifts weekly during December, patroling from 6 p.m. Wednesdays until 4 a.m. Sundays through Jan. 3, 1999.

   The six troopers in this year's King Country emphasis unit were chosen on the basis of their DUI arrests during the year. Collectively, they averaged more than 45 per month while on regular patrol. Last year's emphasis unit averaged nearly 49 DUI arrests per week during Dec.

   There have been 108 traffic deaths in King County so far this year, through Nov. 30. Traffic fatalities in the county have averaged 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 averaged 8 in the last five years--1 in 1993, 7 in 1994, and 12 each in 1995, 1996, and last year. The counts included four pedestrians in 1996 and three last year.