Yakima Police have increased DUI patrols to try and take more drunk drivers off the road and save lives. As Officers continue speed patrols in the city they continue to see a consistent number of DUI arrests.

MORE DRIVERS BEING ARRESTED THIS YEAR IN YAKIMA WHEN COMPARED TO 2022

Police Capt. Jay Seely says along with red light crashes there's been a big increase in DUI arrests this year, upwards of 44 percent. Seely says the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission has funded the new DUI patrols with $200,000 in grant money also allowing the department to dedicate an Officer to DUI patrols.

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CHECK THE NUMBERS OFFICERS ARE BUSY

Seely says the number of DUI arrests are growing every year. He says in 2022 between January and June Officers made a total of 8,909 traffic stops and 151 DUI arrests. But during the first six months of 2023 18,798 traffic stops happened and 232 DUI arrests were made and the high number of arrests continue.

POLICE CHIEF MATHEW MURRAY KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG LAST YEAR

Last year the Yakima Police Chief, Matthew Murray wrote a letter to the community in which he says "the culture of anything goes on Yakima streets must change." At that time he was startled by the number of DUI drivers and red light crashes. Early year the department started special emphasis patrols looking for speeders and DUI drivers. Officers are now required to make 4 stops everyday.
Statewide DUI drivers are also a big problem. In fact 745 traffic fatalities were reported in Washington state in 2022 many killed by impaired drivers.

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