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Extra DUI patrols from Nov. 24 through the New Year

SMOKEY POINT — Law enforcement will conduct extra DUI patrols in Snohomish County from Nov. 24 of this year through Jan. 2 of the New Year.

Law enforcement officials point to the proven results of combining public education with strict enforcement in reducing DUI crashes and fatalities, but Carol and Frank Blair would note that law enforcement officers can't do it alone.

The Blairs have made it their mission to reduce the carnage caused by drunk drivers after their daughter Sheena and her friend Martin "Tony" Ramirez were killed on Feb. 26 of last year, when an SUV moved into their lane and hit them head-on. In Sheena and Tony's honor, a "Don't Drink and Drive" sign is posted at the site of the crash, under the 41st overpass on Broadway in Everett. The driver of the SUV who hit them had a blood alcohol level of almost three times the legal limit.

Carol and Frank have coped with their grief by working actively to prevent drunk driving, by leading many efforts to honor the spirit of Sheena, Tony and all other victims of drunk driving crashes. They urge everyone to do their part this holiday season to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

"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."

In 2010, Sheena Blair was one of 188 people in Washington who died as a result of a crash involving a drinking driver. Between 2006-2010, the five-year total was 1,191.

This is why officers from the Arlington, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo and Tulalip Tribal police departments, along with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Patrol, will commit extra patrol hours to make the roadways safer for everyone. The Bothell Police Department will also conduct patrols as part of the Snohomish County effort. These efforts are part of Washington's Strategic Highway Safety Plan to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2030.

Last year during the same time period, officers in Snohomish County on routine and extra patrols arrested 409 people for DUI.

The Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force organizes and supports this enforcement effort. They urge you to join the team to prevent drunk driving.

For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit www.wtsc.wa.gov.

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