DUI enforcement blitz runs through Monday

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Walla Walla Valley law enforcement agencies have beefed up patrols to curb drunk drivers in the annual "Drive Hammered, Get Nailed" patrols, which runs through Sept. 5.

Last summer during the three-week emphasis, officers in Walla Walla, Garfield and Asotin Counties arrested 26 people for driving under the influence. For the year, 417 people in the three counties were charged with DUI in 2010, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

A total of 230 people died in DUI-related crashes last year in Washington.

This year "Hailey's Law" went into effect on July 22. Now the vehicles of people arrested for DUI will be towed and impounded for at least 12 hours. Only a registered or legal owner who was not in the vehicle can get it out of impound.

"This new law helps eliminate the danger of drunk drivers getting back into their cars and putting everyone at risk," said Lowell Porter, commission director. A total of 230 people died in DUI-related crashes last year in Washington.

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