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Extra patrols out for St. Patrick's Day weekend

The Kitsap County and Mason County Traffic Safety Task Forces are teaming up to combat impaired driving by conducting emphasis patrols this St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Each task force will have law enforcement officers out on patrols tonight looking for drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs as well as those violating traffic safety laws, according to the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force.

These patrols are part of the X-52 Sustained Enforcement campaign partially funded by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission.

During last year's St. Patrick's Day patrols, law enforcement made 170 contacts, resulting in six DUIs and 32 speeding violations as well as nine others for suspended or revoked licenses.

The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, Washington State Patrol, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Suquamish and Bainbridge Island police departments as well as the Washington State Liquor Control Board are participating in the patrols.

Kitsap County had 20 traffic-related fatalities in 2008 and speeding and impaired driving were prevalent factors in nearly half of those, according to the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force.

The task force reminds people that if they plan on consuming alcohol, never drive while impaired and never let your friends drive while they're impaired. Designate a sober driver.

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