Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, which often means people are making plans for lots of holiday parties.
Traffic safety officials are reminding drivers to make sure they have a designated driver or call a cab for a ride home if they intend to drink while celebrating.
Law enforcement officers in the Tri-Cities will be participating in extra DUI patrols in conjunction with the statewide Holiday DUI enforcement campaign that begins on Thanksgiving and runs until January.
Last year, 145 people in Benton and Franklin counties were arrested for DUI by officers on routine and extra patrol during the holiday season, safety officials said.
A couple from Tacoma also are speaking out against drunken driving and safety officials hope their personal message hits home to do the right thing and not drink and drive.
Carol and Frank Blair's daughter, Sheena, was killed Feb. 26, 2010, in a head-on crash by a driver whose blood-alcohol level almost was three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
"Don't let our story become your story," Frank Blair said. "Call a cab. Call a friend. Plan ahead. No matter who you are, someone loves you."
Sheena Blair was one of 188 people killed by an impaired driver in the Washington in 2010, officials said.
Hermiston police -- and other agencies in Oregon -- also are conducting extra patrols during the Thanksgiving weekend looking for impaired drivers and other driving violations.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; email@example.com