Last year on Thanksgiving Day, 22 drivers in King County changed celebration into stress and debt by choosing to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs, according to the Washington State Patrol.
In 2011, the 22 arrests made for DUI by Washington State Troopers on Thanksgiving Day made it the second highest DUI arrest holiday in King County (second only to New Years Day). Of those arrests, there were four non-injury collisions and one minor injury collision.
Year to date, King County has had 19 traffic fatality collisions, with roughly half of those collisions related to DUIs.
District 2 Commander, Captain Chris Gundermann, reminds his troopers, “At the end of the day, targeting behavior that kills and injures is truly what matters.” Not including the avoidable loss of life, every fatality collision incurs $6.2 million dollars in societal costs.
Aside from the financial cost, which can easily reach over $20,000 for one DUI charge, some drivers and their families will always remember the holiday in a new unpleasant way. Choosing not to drive under the influence saves lives while avoiding the long term cost, jail time and embarrassment of a DUI arrest.
*Editor's Note: Information from the Washington State Patrol.