Police: Bellevue sees 36% increase in DUI arrests in 2022

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(Bellevue Police)

Bellevue Police say there has been a spike in DUI arrests in 2022, almost double pre-pandemic levels.

Authorities say they arrested 236 people for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol this year, a 36% increase since last year and a 71% increase from 2019.

Police say just shy of a third of these DUI arrests involved a collision, and 90% of arrests occurred at night.

"Most of these arrests stem from officers who witnessed erratic driving and pulled the drivers over for traffic violations," said Major Dave Sanabria. "The arrests very easily could have prevented a tragic collision."

Bellevue Police will conduct high-visibility DUI emphasis patrols through the rest of the year, and expect to make more arrests in the coming weeks. In December alone, officers have arrested 13 drivers for DUI.

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"We want everyone to get home safely to their loved ones," said Sanabria. "Unfortunately, more than 50% of traffic fatalities involve impaired drivers, and those deaths are completely preventable."