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Out drinking tonight? These troopers will be looking for you

How to teach cadets to recognize a DUI? Give volunteers a few drinks first

Washington State Patrol cadets go through a week of DUI training before the final test - a "wet lab." Volunteers are given controlled amounts of alcohol, and cadets then put them field sobriety tests. Their blood alcohol levels also are tested.
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Washington State Patrol cadets go through a week of DUI training before the final test - a "wet lab." Volunteers are given controlled amounts of alcohol, and cadets then put them field sobriety tests. Their blood alcohol levels also are tested.

Washington State Patrol troopers will be looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs on Friday, Dec. 7, as part of its Night of a 1,000 Stars.

The name is in reference to the 1,000 state patrol badges, along with other local agencies, combining to stop drivers that drive intoxicated and pose a threat to the safety of others, Trooper Heather Axtman said in a release about the event.

The five state troopers on the Target Zero Team for District 7, which includes Whatcom, Snohomish, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties, have arrested 1,015 suspected DUI drivers so far this year.

Statewide, the State Patrol has made 14,897 DUI stops this year, according to the release.

In Whatcom County this year, 237 of the 2,392 collisions (9.91 percent) involved alcohol, including three fatal crashes and 83 others involving injury, according to the Washington State Department Transportation’s Crash Data Portal. The good news is we are ahead of last year’s totals of 332 alcohol-related crashes, including four fatalities and 121 with injury.

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