Each holiday season, the State Patrol often sees an influx in the number of intoxicated drivers on the road, leading to increased patrols and arrests. Recently, as if to prove how many drunk drivers are on the roads, a sergeant’s patrol car was struck by an intoxicated driver while he was assisting with the arrest of another driver suspected of driving under the influence.
Around 10 p.m. on Thursday, December 14, Washington State Patrol troopers were working a scene involving a DUI driver. The motorist was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and had been pulled over for an arrest. State Patrol Sgt. Keith Leary was at the scene and had his car on the right shoulder of Rucker Avenue and 40th Street in Everett, WA when another vehicle struck the back taillight of his car.
Although the lights on his patrol car were flashing, the female driver swerved toward the shoulder in her 2005 Honda and struck the back of his vehicle with her passenger side mirror. The driver continued driving north on Rucker Avenue as another state trooper continued to pursue her from the scene of the incident. She stopped roughly 5 blocks away and was arrested for DUI and hit and run.
The blood alcohol level of the female driver, who was in her early 20’s, was tested and found to be approximately three times the legal limit. State Patrol Sgt. Keith Leary said officials they were lucky nobody was injured. If the female driver had hit more than the taillight, the consequences could have been far more disastrous.
This season, holiday parties, winter weather, and several other factors contribute to an increase in DUI-related accidents. Leary said that within 90 minutes of their overnight patrols the State Troopers had already dealt with 2 DUI-related crashes and had made 10 DUI arrests.
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