For the full story, view the video above.
During late night patrols, 1 in 10 Clark County motorists are driving impaired or drunk. Fortunately for innocent bystanders, Clark County’s police are engaged in routine DUII patrols.
DUI’s are now referred to as DUII’s (driving under the influence of intoxicants or inhibitors). This definition encompasses prescription medication, marijuana, sleep-aids, illicit drugs, and a handful of others.
COUV.COM took a ride with Deputy Chris Luque, who is a trained drug recognition expert. It seemed that every DUII suspect we saw Luque encounter had a poor attitude toward Luque during the initial contact. Once Deputy Luque turned the DUII into a teaching moment and showed the suspect a little respect, every single individual became extremely cooperative. Luque can be described as intense, always scanning his surroundings, yet he is well respected and is instantly liked by others.
“Doing this you start to realize that it only takes a very, very small action to cause such a significant wave of influence,” states Luque. “It doesn’t take an impaired driver driving at 100 miles per hour, blowing through red lights and all those things to cause these collisions. It simply takes somebody that is impaired and not reacting normally”.
COUV.COM rode along with Luque during a special event called the Night of a Thousand Stars. During this event, Washington state commissions extra police officers to conduct additional DUII patrols during holidays or weekends. In return, the state doesn’t require any specific amount of arrests or tickets, only a number of “contacts” per hour. Contacts can be established using minor driving infractions such as a broken tail light or expired tabs. When the officer interacts with the driver, the officer is trained to look for impairments that may hint the driver is intoxicated.
“We know statistically, intoxicated drivers cause collisions. Going in reverse…if we find them prior to the collision, we have a chance of alleviating one that could happen 5 seconds, 10 seconds or 20 minutes down the road,” states Luque.
Washington State recently voted to make recreational marijuana legal. Some citizens have concerns that drivers will openly operate vehicles under the influence of marijuana. However, under the new law, marijuana is controlled similarly to alcohol regulations.
Luque states,“With 502 passing, if they use marijuana and it impairs their ability to drive, they’re gonna get arrested for DUII.”
Furthermore, Luque has taught thousands of young adults in Clark County about distracted and impaired driving. Deputy Luque’s passion is educating citizens to make wiser decisions about using cell phones while driving and abusing intoxants that inhibit one’s ability to drive.
For the full story, view the video of the ride-along.
Video by Jordan Thompson