Washington State Patrol ups DUI patrols for New Year's Eve
Washington State Patrol ups DUI patrols for New Year's Eve

Source: Google News

Last Washington State Patrol made 27 DUI arrests in King County on New Year’s Eve, which was down slightly from 2020.

SEATTLE — Seattle and state police are gearing up for a busy weekend patrolling Washington roads as people head out to celebrate the new year.

Both the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and Washington State Patrol (WSP) say Dec. 31 is one of the busiest nights of the year, and staffing for the increase in activity is planned months in advance. 

“There’s going to be more people than there’s been, for sure, in the past few years in the downtown area and out and about,” said WSP Trooper Rick Johnson. 

With more people gathering and New Year’s Eve events at the Space Needle returning to in-person this year, WSP is warning drivers they will see more patrols out on the roads.

“We’ll be patrolling obviously the freeways and looking for suspected impaired drivers and getting them off the road,” said Johnson. 

Despite the staffing crisis facing Seattle police, SPD Public Affairs Detective Valerie Carson said they are as ready as they possibly can be. 

“We will be out there helping people who need it, to deter crime, make sure people get home safely,” said Carson. 

In King County, DUI arrests on New Year’s Eve went up in 2020 even at the height of the pandemic.

In 2019, WSP made 27 DUI arrests in King County on New Year’s Eve. In 2020 it went up to 32 and then back down to 27 last year, according to WSP. 

“Make good choices,” Johnson said. “If you plan on, you know, consuming alcohol or partying, plan a rideshare, have a designated driver, and for those that are out on the roads, you know, be very cautious.” 

Once someone is arrested under suspicion of DUI, police do a breath test to calculate their blood alcohol level. Washington state’s drunk driving laws put the blood alcohol limit at 0.08.