MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Over 300 impaired drivers arrested in King County over holiday season

Dec 26, 2018, 12:28 PM | Updated: 1:05 pm

impaired drivers King County...

(AP)

(AP)

A total of 305 impaired drivers have been taken off the roads and into jail in King County alone since Black Friday.

RELATED: Troopers notice spike in DUI stops with children in the car
RELATED: State lawmakers consider tightening DUI laws

State Patrol troopers spent 10 days on an emphasis patrol before the last holiday weekend. They took in more than 100 drunk drivers off the road in Pierce and Thurston Counties alone.

This comes as Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies have found a new way save taxpayer money and speed up DUI arrests.

“The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said it has more than a dozen deputies who are certified and grab the medical gloves themselves to draw blood from DUI suspects,” KIRO 7’s Michael Spears reported.

What that means is that those deputies can skip the trip to the hospital for blood-testing DUI suspects, and instead take them straight to the closest precinct for processing.

Statewide, more troopers on the look-out for drunk drivers, in an effort to keep people safe over the last days of the year.

As law enforcement looks to clear drunk drivers off the roads for the holidays, a couple controversial cases have come front and center.

The first is for Vern Henderson, a man with four DUI convictions, awaiting trial for a fifth, and with a potential sixth on the way. The second is for 56-year-old Aaron Gentry, who after pleading guilty for vehicular homicide and his seventh DUI conviction, faces an 18-year prison sentence.

Meanwhile, some state lawmakers are looking to tighten Washington’s DUI laws, that only make a DUI a felony if it’s the fourth inside 10 years. Some in the state Legislature believe that a second or third DUI should qualify as a felony, and require prison time.

“There is a lot of discussion about the cost of incarcerating people who are repeat offenders,” Democratic State Senator David Frockt said back in July 2018. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I think there are other areas where we need to have criminal justice reform. This is one where someone is kind of repeatedly showing that they can’t control themselves and whatever treatment options that they’re getting are not working. We need to be more aggressive.”

RELATED: State troopers notice spike in DUIs with children in car

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Over 300 impaired drivers arrested in King County over holiday season