by: Lee Stoll Updated:EVERETT, Wash. —
State troopers patrolling I-5 in Snohomish County this week were only supposed to stop drivers for speeding. By Wednesday, they had arrested three drivers for DUI, and all of those arrests were during the day.
"There's more traffic out, there's kids standing on the sidewalk going to and from school, you're going to and from work," said patrolman Mark Francis.
According to the Washington State Patrol, troopers stopped 2,796 DUI drivers last year between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
They are on the same pace this year. Police arrested 654 impaired drivers between January and March.
Nearly one out of every eight DUI stops is now made during the day.
Chauncey Filbert was taking his niece and nephew to dinner in Everett last summer when a drunk driver hit them on the sidewalk.
"There's no excuse for anything like that. It's uncalled for," said Filbert. He nearly lost his leg and lost the sense of security he had walking downtown in the daylight with his niece and nephew.
"I keep them right next to me," said Filbert. "I hold their hands crossing the streets."
The numbers terrify Alexa Arama, who was nearly hit by a drunk driver while she ran errands with her 9-month-old daughter in the car.
"I don't like it at all. It's dangerous," said Arama. "With liquor being sold in stores now, it's more access at all hours--even in the mornings."
State Patrol said it doesn't know why the daytime numbers are high.
Police may start aggressive emphasis patrols, just like they do at night and around the holidays.