Exactly 19,669 DUI arrests later, the Washington State Patrol has earned distinction as the top DUI-enforcement agency on the entire continent.
That's right. Of every single agency in North America.The International Association of Chiefs of Police announced the honor this week. WSP managed to earn the honor even though it had 37 fewer officers assigned to traffic duties last year than in 2009. About eight percent of DUI arrests were drug-related, according to a year-end report.
Police agencies in this state make about 40,000 DUI arrests per year.
The number of arrests, however, isn't the only thing the IACP took into consideration. The award recognizes a sustained, anti-DUI effort put forth through strong policies, officer training, and public education.
But someone's finger slipped a little too far over on the keyboard when typing up the press release. It overstates the number of DUI arrests by 5,000. (UPDATE 9:24 a.m.: A WSP spokesman jovially apologized and assures us it was an innocent typo.)
The WSP also issued hundreds of thousands of other citations: 265,003 for speeding, 43,123 for seat-belt violations, and 78,305 for aggressive driving.