Be festive, be safe

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category icon Editorials, Opinion

In Washington State, Clark County, and the cities of Camas and Washougal, drunk driving is clearly a serious problem.

According to the Target Zero, a program of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission that aims to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030, more than half of all traffic deaths from 2012–2014 involved alcohol or drug impairment.

Collectively, impaired drivers accounted for 673 fatalities and 1,289 serious injuries in Washington between 2012 and 2014.
Recently the WTSC reported that there has been an increase in traffic deaths involving DUI, especially among drivers who test positive for two or more drugs, or both alcohol and drugs.

While the holiday season is a time to celebrate with friends and family, this time of year also often brings with it an increase in situations where alcohol is consumed. This unfortunately leads to more impaired drivers on local roadways, and a greater chance of traffic collisions that can lead to injuries and even deaths.

To help get these drivers off the road before tragedy strikes, law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in extra DUI patrols through Jan. 1. Among them are the Washougal Police Department, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol.

While local police are doing their part to keep roadways safe, education and good decision making by the public are the critical keys to decreasing or eliminating DUI related deaths and injuries.

Buckle up. Appoint a designated driver. Call a cab or ride sharing service. Don’t consume drugs of alcohol at all if you are getting behind the wheel. Even one fatality in the community, is too many.