Data released by the Washington State Patrol show that officers have arrested 200 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence in King, Pierce, and Thurston counties in the first few weeks of the new year. State troopers in District 1 have made 96 DUI arrests thus far.
Last year, District 1 officers arrested 94 drivers on suspicion of DUI for the weeks of January 1 to January 15. The previous year, District 1 officers arrested 105 drivers during that same time period. District 1 covers both Pierce and Thurston counties. In District 2, which covers King County, troopers have arrested 106 drivers during this same time period, as compared to 142 drivers last year and 118 drivers in 2018. The arrests included both suspicions of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Timing of DUIs Reveal Different Root Causes
According to Washington State Trooper Johnna Batiste, who spoke with a local news agency about the increase in DUI arrests, many arrests made in the early morning hours are "left over from the night before." She also noted that many drivers who are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence during the daytime can be classified as, "functioning alcoholics. And that's just their kind of norm." Some of the drivers were simply spotted by law enforcement officers on patrol, while other drivers were reported to 911 due to erratic driving behaviors spotted by others on the road.
Trooper Batiste went on to discuss the differences between evening and daytime DUI arrests. Arrests made in the evening and night time in the Seattle and Tacoma areas are more likely to be "drivers who've had cocktails with dinner or gone out with friends." Arrests made during the daytime were more likely to involve drivers who were under the influence of drugs, including both marijuana and prescription or controlled substances.
Officers remarked on the availability of ride-sharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, in the Seattle, Tacoma, and their respective greater metro areas. They noted that drivers have many options when seeking a method of returning home safely and the officers hope that more drivers will avail themselves of these options in the future.
King County DUI Representation
Alcoholism and substance use disorder are serious health issues that require treatment, not punitive measures. If you've been charged with a DUI and are also struggling with drugs or alcohol, allow an experienced attorney to handle your criminal charges so you can focus on getting the treatment you need.
The Law Offices of Steve Karimi is here to help. Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor who now works to defend against DUI charges. Even if you failed a breath test during a DUI traffic stop, you still have options. Call his office today at 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form to learn how he can help you.