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Published: Saturday, December 31, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Plan to drink this weekend? Plan ride home, too

State highways in Snohomish and Island counties saw a rash of fatal wrecks over the week around Christmas, and police are asking drivers to be careful as they celebrate the end of 2011.
Some of the fatalities over the past week involved suspected drunken drivers, said trooper Keith Leary with the Washington State Patrol.
Holiday merriment often translates to more impaired-driving arrests this time of year, he said.
"It's going to be the same standard message for us: Make sure you plan that designated driver, that taxi cab, that alternate ride," he said.
Too often, troopers have to investigate serious or fatal wrecks that could have been prevented if someone didn't drink and drive, Leary said.
Troopers work with the Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Task Force, as well as local drinking establishments, to get the message out, he said.
On New Year's, they often nab drivers going from one party to another, he said.
The police know that it's a party holiday, Leary said. They just want people to make the right choice.
"Once you get behind the wheel and you're impaired, your chances greatly increase that you'll get involved in a crash," he said.
Story tags » CrimePoliceTraffic SafetyDUI

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