Wednesday is the first day of summer, and with that often comes warmer weather, barbecues and drinking. Law enforcement wants to make sure the latter is kept in check, especially if people are going to get behind the wheel of a car.
Officers will be highly visible beginning this weekend as they launch a nearly two-week statewide campaign to remove impaired drivers from the road. City, county and state police in Pierce and King counties will be targeting roads where motorists are most at risk for being hit by a drug- or alcohol-impaired driver.
To kick off the special patrol, a dedication will take place Saturday, June 23, for Bruce Cromoga, who was killed by a driver who had been drinking at a bar and was also under the influence of marijuana. Cromoga was struck on Veteran's Day, 2010, while driving home from a fishing trip with a 14-year-old family friend, who was injured in the collision.
Within the last two years, DUI fatalities and serious injuries in Pierce and King counties have been reduced by more than 40 percent.
"In spite of all the good news, we'll never get to our goal of zero traffic deaths and injuries by 2030 unless everyone steps up their game," said John Cheesman, chairman of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force.
Drinking establishments also will be targeted. Officers will be visiting them as part of the Home Safe Bar program. Officers will give bar patrons cards that can be scanned by a smart phone to call a taxi. Additionally, taxi chips for members of the military to use to get home will be given to bouncers, bartenders and servers.