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Police to crack down on DUI of alcohol, pot, other drugs

With marijuana now legal in the state, police are prepared to crack down on users who drive under the influence.

"Specifically, we want people to know that marijuana doubles the risk of a fatal crash," said Darrin Grondel, Traffic Safety Commission director.

"With new retail marijuana stores in the mix, we want to remind the public that prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as illegal and recreational drugs, can impair driving ability," Grondel said.

Between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1 extra officers will be on the roads looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs during the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

Drivers are encouraged to find alternative transportation or ride with a sober designated driver.

"More people may be using marijuana recreationally, but that should never be mixed with driving," said Lt. Rob Sharpe, commander of the Washington State Patrol Impaired Driving Section.

Additionally, law enforcement reminds young drivers that impairment laws are much stricter for anyone under the age of 21. A young driver who has any marijuana in their system or a blood alcohol concentration of .02 or higher is considered to be driving under the influence and is at risk for arrest.

During 2013 in Snohomish County, 3,121 people were charged with DUI. Arlington and Marysville police, along with the county and many other jurisdictions, are participating in the campaign.

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