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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Enforcement efforts target drunk drivers

Target Zero Teams from Bellevue, Redmond, and Seattle Police Departments, the Washington State Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies in King County will have additional officers watching for impaired drivers on Thursday, May 5, the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory over invading French military forces during the 1862 Battle of Puebla. In the United States, the holiday has become a joyful, cultural celebration for Mexican-Americans observed with parades, music, folklore, dances and food. Recently, Cinco de Mayo has also been adopted as a general holiday by others, particularly young adults, as a day for parties and drinking.

Holidays that are often celebrated with drinking, such as Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick's Day, are particularly high-risk times for crashes to occur.

"Impaired drivers kill and seriously injure hundreds of people across King County each year," said Lt. Marcia Harnden of the Bellevue Police Department. "We are serious about removing these dangerous drivers from the road. Please designate a sober driver, take a taxi or bus."

Leaders from the Latino community encourage all King County residents to enjoy local Cinco de Mayo festivities, and to celebrate responsibly by choosing safe rides home. The following organizations and businesses support this traffic safety effort: Association of Washington State Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Consulado de Mexico en Seattle, El Centro De La Raza, Mazatlan Restaurants and Sea Mar Community Health Centers.

Target Zero Teams provide extra traffic enforcement patrols to support the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which calls for zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by the year 2030. Target Zero Teams funding is provided through a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. For more information about enforcement efforts in Bellevue, contact Traffic Lt. Marcia Harnden at mharnden@bellevuewa.com, or 425-452-5244 (office), or 425-766-5244 (cell).

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Contact Information

450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Officer Seth Tyler
Phone: 425-452-4129
E-mail: bellevuepd@bellevuewa.gov

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