An average of 49 people lose their lives in traffic collisions between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in Washington state. For Snohomish County law enforcement agencies, that’s 49 too many, especially during the holidays.
The month of December marks the 23rd anniversary of the “Night of 1,000 Stars” impaired driving emphasis patrols for law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Each star symbolizes a badge worn by a law enforcement officer working to keep roadways safe, especially in Snohomish County. The annual emphasis patrol began earlier this month, and will continue with extra patrols planned through the New Year.
“Impaired driving as the result of drugs or alcohol is the number one cause of vehicle collision deaths in our county,” said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary. “We want to everyone to make it home safely this holiday season.”
Snohomish County law enforcement will use Washington State Patrol’s Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU) to process DUI drivers quickly so that officers can get back out on the road.
“Officers, deputies and troopers will also be on the lookout for people who speed, drive aggressively, aren’t wearing a seatbelt, or who violate other traffic laws,” said Tracy McMillan, Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Task Force Manager. “Wintertime driving can be hazardous, but it can be deadly when it’s mixed with alcohol or drugs.”
“In the month of November, not a single person lost their life in a motor vehicle collision in Snohomish County,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick. “That’s a tremendous accomplishment, but we need to remain vigilant. We want drivers to be safe throughout the holidays.”
These special overtime DUI & Target Zero emphasis patrols are paid for by a special grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to reduce traffic deaths and disabling injuries to zero by the year 2030. The “Night of 1,000 Stars” is a cooperative effort with law enforcement, liquor enforcement, and traffic safety task forces throughout Washington state.