A DUI emphasis patrol in Kitsap and Pierce counties Friday night (Sept. 5) resulted in the arrest of 21 motorists for suspected impaired driving. Four additional drivers were arrested on drug-related charges including one felony arrest for methamphetamine.
A team of 24 officers from 11 Pierce County law enforcement agencies targeted roadways where a high number of alcohol-related crashes have occurred in Fife, University Place, Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Fircrest. In Kitsap County, officers made four arrests for DUI, including one for hit and run. An impaired driver hit a WSP trooper‚Äôs patrol car while the trooper was making a traffic stop on I-5 at Thorne Lane. The driver was later caught and taken into custody. Two State Liquor Control Board teams checked bars and issued four citations.
The special two-county Bridge to Bridge emphasis patrol was sponsored by the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force and the Tacoma Pierce County DUI Task Force. The patrol was dedicated to 19-year-old Jennie Mattlab who was a passenger in a car driven by an impaired teenager who ran a red light and struck another vehicle at South 48th and M Streets in Tacoma in February 2007.
Two brothers of the Curtis High School graduate killed in the crash rode along on the patrol with participating Tacoma Police Department officers. JoAnne Wong, the teen‚Äôs sister-in-law and family spokesperson, rode along with Officer Eric Chell, Tacoma Police Department.
Officer Chell, along with two other Tacoma Police Department officers, made six DUI arrests in Tacoma Friday night. ‚ÄúIt gave immediate comfort to Jennie‚Äôs parents and the rest of our family knowing prevention is taking place every day in the state through patrols like this,‚Äù said Wong.
Law Enforcement agencies who participated in the X-52 Patrol (Extra Patrols 52 Weeks of the Year) were funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Participating law enforcement agencies included Kitsap and Pierce County sheriff‚Äôs departments, Washington State Patrol and the Bonney Lake, Bremerton, DuPont, Fife, Fircrest, Gig
Harbor, Lakewood, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Puyallup, Sumner, Suquamish, Tacoma and University Place police departments.