Emphasis patrols honor DUI crash victim

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

SPOKANE, Wash. -The Spokane Police Department's Traffic and DUI enforcement units are conducting emphasis patrols through Labor Day weekend.

They're doing it in the name of Bailey Roach who was killed in June 2016 by an impaired driver who was driving more than 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash. 

" This young man was vibrant he was somebody that people were attracted to he cared about other people," said Sergeant John Griffin of the Spokane Police Department. 

Troopers, deputies and local police officers are out making sure that drivers are not under the influence. 

"We're trying to make sure everyone has a safe holiday and that we get the impaired drivers off the road that cause collisions and deaths and fatalities," added Sgt. John Griffin.

I had the chance to ride along with Spokane Police Officer John Yen. Officer Yen is one of the department's traffic officers and is trained to detect drivers who might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

"Our main goal is to reduce the collisions that are occurring because of these impaired drivers," said Officer Yen.

Washington State Patrol and Washington Department of Transportation data shows that since January of this year there have been 16 fatal or serious injury crashes involving drugs or alcohol in the city of Spokane it's nine, and in Spokane Valley, there have been three.

While on the ride along we responded to one accident where a driver was suspected of being intoxicated. But after conducting field sobriety tests, the driver was cleared.

But along Highway 395 there’s a sobering reminder of the consequences of drinking and driving. A memorial marking where Bailey Roach died. A memorial that Spokane Police Sergeant John Griffin wants people to remember 

“ We want to emphasize that more than just statistics these are actual people, they're actual loved ones they're members of our community," added Sergeant Griffin. 

Spokane Police are also handing out flyers of Bailey with a message to drivers who they pull over for any traffic infraction.

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