DUI patrols net over 80 arrests

Over two weeks of DUI patrols in Benton and Franklin counties recently led to over 80 arrests, officials said.

The beefed up patrols from June 21 through July 7 resulted in 46 DUI arrests and 38 other arrests, said a Benton-Frankln Traffic Safety Task Force release. A total of 407 drivers were contacted by law enforcement throughout the Tri-Cities.

Law enforcement agencies put an emphasis on DUI patrols to try and reduce traffic fatalities during the summer months.

Around half of the 100 traffic citations issued were either for speeding or seat belt violations, the release said. A total of five people were arrested on felony warrants.

In 2012, 74 drivers were arrested for DUI and 141 traffic citations were issued, the release said. A total of 349 drivers were contacted.

There have been 27 traffic deaths in Benton and Franklin counties from Memorial Day weekend 2007 to just after Labor Day 2012, the release said. Drunk drivers were involved in 12 of those fatalities.

The patrols are part of the Washington Strategic Highway Safety Plan’s “Target Zero” campaign to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2030.