Washington State Patrol arrests 18 DUI drivers on Fourth of July weekend

West Richland Police, Ellensburg

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Fourth of July holiday is largely associated with barbeques and cookouts, friends and family, fireworks, pool parties, and family fun. On the flip side, it’s also notorious for being a time in which people abuse drugs/alcohol and make poor decisions. That’s why the Washington State Patrol (WSP) is diligent about keeping its communities safe by getting drivers under the influence off the roads.

According to WSP Trooper Thorson, 18 people were arrested for driving under the influence during the long holiday weekend through Monday. That includes seven from Yakima, seven from Kennewick, three from Walla Walla, and one from Grandview.

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The State Patrol has come to expect an influx of drunk drivers during the long holiday weekend. Per a WSP Facebook post, they joined with the California Highway Patrol and Oregon State Police to be especially wary of impaired drivers on highways.

The Washington State Patrol says that it saw a 27% increase in Aggressive Driving contacts between May 2019 and May 2020. The California Highway Patrol also saw a 261% increase in citations for speeds in excess of 100 MPH in that same time span.

Impairment wasn’t only a threat on land. Operation Dry Water was in full swing over the holiday weekend with the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office reporting that they contacted 153 boaters to ensure they were safe and sober. Of that group, they detected zero cases of impairment from the drivers.

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