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Extra DUI patrols to remind drivers of Federal Way teens killed by drunk driver
This weekend in King County, a special task force of DUI officers from 17 law enforcement agencies will be patrolling county-wide to arrest and take impaired drivers off the road as part of the Nick and Derek Project.
The project was developed by the Federal Way Police Department in partnership with families of two Federal Way teens who lost their lives to a drunk driver.
In 2010, Decatur High School students Nicholas Hodgins and Derek King were killed when their car was hit by a drunk driver on Interstate 5 in Tukwila, just three days before their high school graduation. With graduation season now underway, law enforcement agencies across the county are coming together to help ensure that streets are safe from drug and alcohol impaired drivers.
“In Washington state during 2013, 182 driving fatalities were the result of impaired drivers,” said Randall King, Derek’s father. “In King County alone, there were 31 deaths caused by impaired drivers. This program is designed to both educate and take these potential killers off the road.”
In addition to the DUI patrols, the families of Nick and Derek are joining Washington State Liquor Control Board agents to visit bars and restaurants to remind servers and patrons of their role in keeping our roadways safe with responsible service and sober rides home. Officers will make follow-up visits to any establishments that served drivers arrested for DUI.
The Washington State Patrol’s Mobile Impaired Driving Unit will be set up in King County to enable officers to transfer arrestees to troopers for processing, so officers can quickly return to patrolling.
“Is there any more tragic crime than one that could have been avoided?” Asked Mary Bobbitt, Nick’s mother. “All of these deaths could have been prevented. You never think DUI drivers will hurt your loved ones, but it happens and will continue to happen until we get all of these dangerous drivers off of our highways.”
While this is a special effort this weekend during the height of area graduations, it will be a year-round effort to make our highways safer for our families.”
Patrols are staffed by Target Zero Team officers and troopers, funded through a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Federal Way police officers are supported by Nick and Derek Project funding, which was approved by the Federal Way City Council in earlier this year. These patrols are part of the statewide Target Zero goal to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.
Participating agencies include the Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Mercer Island, Redmond, Renton, SeaTac, Seattle, Snoqualmie, and Federal Way police departments, the King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and Washington State Liquor Control Board.