Washington State Patrol troopers across the state arrested 161 drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs or alcohol over the Christmas holiday weekend.
That’s down from 194 arrests during the same period in 2010, according to a State Patrol media release Dec. 27. The number of arrests does not include arrests made by local sheriff’s deputies or city police officers.
“We’re going in the right direction, but these numbers are still too high,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “There’s just no excuse for putting yourself and others at risk by driving while impaired.”
The State Patrol is aware of three fatal collisions during the holiday weekend, one of which involved drugs or alcohol.
• Drugs or alcohol are suspected in the death of a 47-year old Chehalis man on State Highway 2 near the Hewitt Avenue trestle in Snohomish County. Troopers believe an impaired driver went around barricades and drove onto a pedestrian walkway, killing one man and injuring another.
• A 9-year old Clinton girl was killed when a tree fell on the vehicle in which she was riding on Whidbey Island. Troopers found no evidence of alcohol involvement in the collision, which occurred Sunday in Island County.
• The Auburn Police Department is investigating a car-pedestrian fatality that occurred Monday morning on Auburn Way South.
There were no fatal collisions during the same period in 2010.
Through Nov. 30, troopers had arrested 20,130 DUIs for the year. That’s up about 1 percent from the same period in 2010, but falls within a normal range of year-to-year variance.