Drunk drivers will be targeted en force over the next year as Bellingham puts extra officers on the streets with state grant money.
Bellingham Police Department received a grant from the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission for extra DUI patrols starting Wednesday, Oct. 1 and lasting through Sept. 30, 2015.
The department will try to increase its DUI arrest rate by more than 50 percent. To do so, each enforcement officer will try to arrest one impaired driver every four hours, and crack down on other crash-related behavior.
The grant goals follow statewide “Target Zero” goals to reduce and eventually eliminate fatal and serious injury crashes. Statewide, the yearly goal is to have 24 fewer deaths from crashes and 120 fewer serious injuries.
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To kick off the program, Bellingham police will work with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a high visibility DUI enforcement patrol Friday, Oct. 3. Officers will focus on city and county streets with the highest number of injury and fatal crashes.