According to a new study, Washington has the ninth highest DUI arrest statistics in the country. The report, produced by Project Know, estimates that for every 10,000 Washington drivers, 49.8 were arrested for DUI in 2013.
As Fusion reports, Project Know is a “drug addiction resource center that does work on combating substance addiction and the societal issues that stem from it.” Their newest DUI report used data from 2013 to make its findings—which resulted in a number of surprising correlations and even perhaps some reporting inconsistencies.
For instance, Fusion points out that Washington has one some of the toughest DUI laws in the country—but instead of those laws deterring impaired driving, arrest statistics remain high, particularly in Lynnwood. Additionally, Fusion notes that Washington does not use sobriety check points, which could mean that catching drunk drivers on the road could remain a high priority for law enforcement and thus result in a high arrest rate.
Inconsistent Reporting Data?
Conversely, Boston has a low rate of DUI arrests and Massachusetts ranks 45th overall. While some point to Boston's transit system and “walkability” for the low statistics, others wonder how accurate the numbers might be. Washington DC, which shares a lot of the same features as Boston, has DUI arrest totals over six times higher—leading some to believe that policing impaired driving in some places may not be as high of a priority as in others.
The Boston Globe has reported on the suspiciously low numbers in the past and even spoke to Jan Withers, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving concerning them. “It does raise questions,” she told the paper, adding, “We really look to law enforcement to reduce drunk driving, and it could be they just don't have a focus on keeping the roads safe.” Ron Bersani, who lobbied for tougher DUI laws after his granddaughter was killed by a drunk driver told the paper in 2013: “It [DUI enforcement] can't possibly be a priority given those statistics... It's skewed beyond belief.”
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