Despite widespread awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of drunk driving, too many people continue to make this very dangerous and reckless choice.
Strong laws and penalties seem insufficient to create the change that King County and Washington State as a whole need to keep people safe.
Washington State drunk driving deaths over five years
According to records from the National Highway Safety Administration, 132 people died in alcohol-related accidents across the state of Washington in 2014. In 2018, that number reached 166. In fact, the number of drunk driving fatalities in the state increased every year between 2014 and 2017. In 2015, these deaths numbers 145 and then rose to 156 in 2016 and then 176 in 2017.
During that five-year span, 775 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in Washington State. King County recorded 128 of those deaths and Pierce County recorded 91 of those fatalities.
News reports show the continued risk
In August of 2020, the Kent Reporter provided details of an accident that sent a three-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy to the hospital after a drunk driver slammed into the children’s toy vehicle they rode in at approximately 5:00 p.m. The drunk driver tried to avoid arrest by running away from the scene, but authorities caught him.
That same month, King 5 reported on how one man died and seven other people sustained injuries after a three-vehicle collision caused by a drunk driver.
In November of 2020, another drunk driver without a valid license stole a sport utility vehicle and drove it into a transit bus.