Yakima’s latest drunk driving incident highlights severity of 2022 DUI spike

DUIs account for nearly one-third of YPD's traffic citations this year.
Image via Yakima Police Department, Facebook

YAKIMA, Wash. — The dangers of drunk driving are well-documented, yet the Yakima Police Department is still seeing a rapid increase in DUI arrests and citations through the first half of 2022.

Officers from the Yakima Police Department have already made 174 arrests for driving under the influence up to this point of 2022, they announced in a social media post on July 20. That accounts for more than 31% of the department’s criminal traffic citations—second only to driving with a suspended license.

Drinking and driving doesn’t just put the driver in harm’s way—it puts other community members in serious danger. That was exemplified on Tuesday, July 19 when an intoxicated man crashed into another driver, leaving a passenger trapped in the car.

Yakima police officers responded to the scene of this DUI crash near Tieton Dr and 32nd Ave. Their investigation determined that the intoxicated driver veered from the westbound lane into the eastbound lane and made contact with the victim’s vehicle.

With the passenger trapped inside the car, Yakima firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to remove sections of the vehicle and extract her. Officers say the victims only suffered minor injuries and the driver was arrested at the scene.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 32 people in the U.S. die from drunk driving every day and that 11,654 people died from drunk driving incidents in 2020 alone.

Like in many other cases, these victims or the driver very easily could have died from injuries suffered during the collision.


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