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Arrests up during holiday DUI emphasis

— Arrests were up in the region during the holiday Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over anti-drunken driving campaign.

“I think with the emphasis patrols and advertising have helped, and I think most people have learned that it’s just not worth it,” Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said. “Pretty much everyone I have talked with is all for the DUI emphasis patrols.

“I have never heard anyone really complain about getting drunks off the road.”

During the campaign, which ran from Nov. 27, 2013, through Jan. 1, 2014, 67 motorists were stopped and arrested for driving under the influence in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties, the Washington State Traffic Commission said.

Statewide, 2,723 drunken drivers were arrested.

In the 2012-13 campaign, 54 people were arrested in the three-county area.

From Christmas through New Year’s, the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office arrested six people for driving under the influence.

During 2013, the Sheriff’s Office booked 68 people for driving under the influence.

The two heaviest months were July with 10 and September with 12, Rogers said. There were three driving under the influence arrests in December.

The Washington State Patrol made a dozen driving under the influence arrests in December 2013, compared to nine the previous December, regional spokesman Trooper Darren Wright said.

The campaign is valuable because it removes impaired drivers from the road and also serves as an educational campaign, he said.

Participating agencies in the region were Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties’ sheriff’s offices, the East Wenatchee and Wenatchee police departments and the Washington State Patrol, with support from the Chelan-Douglas Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force and the traffic commission.

Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal did not respond with figures by The Chronicle’s deadline.

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