Between 2008 and 2010, there were 970 traffic fatalities and 5,020
serious injury collisions in Washington State. Of the 970 fatal
collisions, half involved drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. In
response, Washington developed a Strategic Highway Safety Plan entitled
Target Zero. The goal of Target Zero is to reduce the number of traffic
fatalities and serious injury collisions to zero by the year 2030.
Target Zero is a statewide collaborative effort that unites various
agencies and organizations to direct funding, resources, and innovative
solutions toward achieving this common goal.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Impaired driving is a leading factor in Washington traffic deaths. We’re working with other agencies to keep alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers off the roads. Washington wants to increase impaired driving arrests, improve prosecution, set up more DUI courts, and promote the use of ignition-interlock devices.
Examples of these innovative solutions can be seen on Tacoma’s 6th
Avenue where teams conduct "Choose Your Ride" and "Home Safe Bar”
campaigns. During these nights, groups consisting of law enforcement,
the Liquor Control Board, and family members who have lost a loved one
to a drunk driver, will visit bars to raise awareness about over-service
and drinking and driving. They also provide customers with contact
information for taxi services and tow trucks, which are sometimes
provided for free or at a great discount. Patrol units are standing by
in case there are individuals that don't heed the warnings and decide to
drive drunk. The goal is to get people home safely.
In 2012, the
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office became a partner in the
Target Zero project. In addition to the existing efforts to prosecute
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases, there are now two full-time
deputy prosecutors dedicated exclusively to the prosecution of impaired
drivers in Pierce County. Deputy prosecutors have also been active in
the community in an effort to reduce the number of DUIs in Pierce
County. They are attending Target Zero workgroups at county and regional
levels, participating in the DUI Summit, and collaborating with area
law enforcement agencies regarding best practices for securing
successful prosecution of impaired drivers.
The Pierce County
Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is actively pursuing Target Zero. So far,
the overall results in Pierce County are outstanding.
: Comparing 2008-2010 (pre-Target Zero), to 2010-2012 (Target Zero), the number of impaired driving fatalities in Pierce County has decreased by 41.7%.
: For the same time period, the number of serious injury collisions caused by impaired drivers in Pierce County has dropped 10.2%.
: Since joining the Target Zero team, Pierce County deputy prosecutors are able to screen DUI cases for charging an average of 4.2 days after receiving and opening the referrals from law enforcement. That is 11 days quicker than before the Target Zero project.
As these improvements demonstrate, the collaborative efforts of the
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and other Target Zero
partners are greatly improving the safety of Pierce County roadways.
Impaired drivers are killing or seriously injuring fewer people; more
loved ones are arriving at their destinations safely. The Pierce County
Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is committed to making Pierce County even
safer, striving for Target Zero.