Walla Walla Police are using new way to stop drunk driving
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Summertime is the deadliest season for drivers on Washington roads, according to the Washington State Patrol (WSP).
WSP as well as local police departments are upping their DUI patrols in hopes to save some lives—and Walla Walla Police are trying to put a stop to drunk and drugged driving in a new and innovative way.
A police officer patrols the city of Walla Walla, passing familiar streets, trees and buildings.
“This is the town I grew up in,” Officer Spencer Kelty said. “This is the town I love. I want to keep the citizens of Walla Walla and the valley as safe as possible.”
For the next few weeks, law enforcement across the state of Washington will be upping their patrols to stop drivers under the influence in what they say is the deadliest season for our roads.
“It happens here in Walla Walla frequently, and we need to put an end to it,” Kelty said.
So Walla Walla police are doing something they've never tried before.
They're dedicating their patrols to DUI crash victims and handing out pamphlets in their memory. This time, it’s a Walla Walla mother who a drunk driver hit and killed three years ago.
“It's one thing to hear about another accident or a DUI, and it's another to actually put a face and a name to why we are out here, and to bring it back home,” Kelty said. “Especially to a small community who lost a loved one.”
Because although WSP shows on average nearly 150 DUI deaths in Washington summers alone, Kelty said sharing those numbers just isn't enough.
“It's not just a stat on the board,” he said. “It's having to tell families that their wife or their mother or their son have died in a DUI-related collision. That's the reality for me.”
Kelty said he hopes these dedicated patrols and increased education on the effects of alcohol on a driver will make the difference this summer.
“To me it's mind boggling, and it's super frustrating that we continue to kill ourselves every day over something that's 100% preventable,” Kelty said.
Police say get a ride, call a cab, or walk home if you're under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will carry on through Labor Day.