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Emphasis patrol to continue through 2004

By Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald

Once in every 10 times a Bonney Lake police officer stops a car, the driver will be drunk or under the influence of drugs. These grim statistics come from the Tacoma/Pierce County DUI Task Force holiday emphasis patrol.

Each weekend, from Nov. 26 to Jan. 3, the countywide emphasis patrol concentrated in problem areas looking for drunk and drugged drivers. During that period, 112 stops were made in Bonney Lake and 12 people were cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. Across the county the numbers were even more stark - out of 2,800 stops, 436 were DUI citations, or about 15 percent.

The emphasis patrols will continue during the year by targeting one area a month. Police departments from across Pierce County will send officers to help patrol.

"We're working with all the different agencies in Pierce County," Jeter said. The Bonney Lake chief is also chairman of the task force. "It's a very important program. In 2003 one in every 10 stops in Bonney Lake was a drunk driver. What happens if we're not out there to stop them?"

On Jan. 16 the emphasis patrol chalked up 12 drug and alcohol violation in University Place and Fircrest. The emphasis patrol will be in Bonney Lake Feb. 13 to target drunk, drugged and unsafe drivers.

The task force began in 1983 as an education and enforcement effort to halt the problem of drunk driving.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com

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