The state may see an increase in impaired-driving arrests over the next few weeks.
Nearly 150 additional patrols will monitor potentially impaired drivers beginning today through Labor Day weekend, according to a Washington Traffic Safety Commission news release.
The Vancouver, Battle Ground, Washougal, La Center and Ridgefield police departments will participate, along with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency.
Statewide, fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by more than one substance, or poly-drug drivers, rose 15 percent per year from 2012 to 2017, according to the commission. Poly-drug drivers have become the most common culprits in fatal crashes with impairment, the commission said. Alcohol and cannabis were flagged as the most frequent combination.
The commission also plans to place 75 free-standing, tall educational posters in cannabis retail shops around the state.
“Our hope is to reduce traffic deaths to zero. Planning ahead is one action you can take to keep our roads and our families safe,” said Mark Medalen, the commission’s impaired-driving program manager. “There’s another way that everyone can help. If you see someone impaired, engage with them and help them find another way home.”