Local

No fatal crashes reported over New Year's weekend

Most drivers in the Tri-Cities appeared to make the right choices while celebrating the new year by not drinking and driving.

No fatal or serious-injury crashes were reported over the holiday weekend in Benton and Franklin counties.

Officers in the Tri-Cities also participated in extra DUI patrols as part of the state's holiday DUI enforcement campaign that began on Thanksgiving and ran through Jan. 2.

During that time, 131 drivers were taken off the roads in Benton and Franklin counties and arrested for driving under the influence, state traffic safety officials said.

Last year, 145 drivers were arrested for being impaired in the Tri-Cities during the holiday patrols.

Statewide, 3,812 drivers were arrested for DUI by officers on routine or extra patrols since Thanksgiving.

Troopers across the state arrested 253 drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the New Year's holiday weekend that started at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and ended at midnight Jan. 2.

During that same time in Benton County, eight drivers were jailed on suspicion of DUI, according to jail records.

Three people were killed in a crash in Lincoln County on New Year's Day, the Washington State Patrol said.

"It is always the hope that the new year starts with people driving safe and sober," said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. "But, I am proud that our troopers are out ensuring impaired drivers are taken off the road."

Agencies that participated in the holiday DUI enforcement campaign were: Kennewick, Pasco and Richland police departments, Benton County and Franklin County sheriff's offices and the Washington State Patrol.

The agencies were supported by the Benton-Franklin Traffic Safety Task Force and by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

  Comments