Trooper crackdown leads to spike in DUI arrests

Kitsap leads Olympic Peninsula counties with 23 arrests in eleven days.

A statewide crackdown on drunk driving has led to 23 DUI arrests in Kitsap County in 11 days, the Washington State Patrol reported on Wednesday.

Starting December 14, the WSP has employed “emphasis patrols” – troopers working overtime hours to scan the roadways for impaired drivers, particularly at night. It’s an annual practice during the holiday season that begins with a countywide police briefing, WSP spokesperson Chelsea Hodgson said.

Kitsap led all counties in the Olympic Peninsula region in DUI arrests as of Tuesday. It’s also the most populous county in WSP’s District 8, which encompasses Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Mason counties.

Christmas Day was a particularly punishing one for buzzed drivers in Kitsap, according to arrest records. Nine people were held in Kitsap County jail on the 26th for DUI-related charges.

Grays Harbor saw the second most DUI arrests with 21.

“Our goal, as always, is to remove impaired drivers from the roadways to ensure everyone has a safe holiday,” Hodgson said.

The program will last through New Year’s Day.