DUI arrests are on the rise

DUI arrests are up across Washington state, and Kitsap County is no exception.

According to the Washington State Patrol’s latest numbers, DUI arrests are up 19 percent in Kitsap County, compared to the same time period last year.

“It’s really hard to tell why the numbers are up so much,” said Shirley Wise, coordinator of the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force. “Some people blame the economy, some say the war. We don’t really know. But they are up, here and statewide.”

In an attempt to raise awareness in the county concerning these frightening statistics, the families of Steven James Lennon and Ellen Getavesky will be unveiling six-by-12-foot, “Killed by a Drunk Driver” highway road signs during a press conference tomorrow at the Kitsap Mall center court area in Silverdale.

The 10:30 a.m. news conference is sponsored by the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force, MADD Kitsap County, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the families of Getavesky and Lennon, and as part of the Cross-Kitsap Corridor Traffic Safety Project.

Getavesky was killed Sept. 1, 1998, when a driver under the influence of marijuana, meth and alcohol hit her vehicle head-on near Newberry Hill.

She was 50 and had recently retired from the Navy.

Lennon was 18 when he was killed on State Route 16 after a drunk driver crossed the center line and struck Lennon’s vehicle head on.

That fatal accident took place March 17, 1991.

The new highway signs are the seventh and eighth to be placed in the state.

Six feet of the signs are taken up with photos of the victims, a vivid attempt to alert the public that drunk and impaired drivers are out in force on our highways.

The sign honoring Getavesky will be placed beside Highway 3, southbound, near Newberry Hill.

The sign honoring Lennon will be placed near beside Highway 3, northbound, just outside of Belfair.

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