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Cops sharpen nails for hammered drivers

Between August 14 and Sept. 7, extra DUI patrols will traverse Island County roadways in search of impaired drivers, thanks to a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Participating in this summer’s “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” enforcement campaign are the Island County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol.

There are numerous myths surrounding impaired driving, chief of which is that one must have consumed alcohol in order to be arrested for DUI. Drivers can become impaired by the use of illegal, prescription, and even over-the-counter drugs, with or without the presence of alcohol.

The State Patrol detailed an Oak Harbor incident to illustrate the point: “Officer Loyd Carter of the Oak Harbor Police Department arrested a grandmother for impaired driving. The woman’s daughter and grandkids came to visit during the summer and she decided to take the two young grandkids to a local water park for the day. Spending the day at a water park with hundreds of screaming and running children was evidently not what she envisioned.

“As the day went on she started taking her prescription Xanax pills. By the end of the day she had taken a few more than she should have and as she tried to leave the parking lot, she hit a parked car. Her youngest grandchild was strapped in the car seat, but the car seat was not attached to anything. As a result, the child hit her head on the dashboard during the crash. The grandmother was so impaired she could hardly stand. She was processed for DUI drugs and convicted of DUI and child endangerment,” the State Patrol reported.

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