Community meeting to address teen impaired driving in Sammamish
March 22, 2013
New: March 22, 12:47 p.m.
Sammamish Police are holding a community meeting to discuss underage residents being caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
About 40 percent of impaired driving cases involves people under the age of 21 said Sammamish Police Administrative Sargent Jessica Sullivan. That translates to about 20-24 incidents per year, she said.
“Its something I started noticing at the end of last year,” she said.
She said the numbers are roughly an even split between people aged 19-20 and people under 18. There’s also an even split between the number of drug cases and alcohol cases, Sullivan said.
The last time there was a fatality involving an underage impaired driver was in 1997, said Sullivan.
“We’ve been lucky,” she said.
Police and some community members began meeting to discuss the problem in January, she said.
She’s noticed that Sammamish youth have a fairly liberal attitude toward drug and alcohol use, and they believe their parents share those attitudes.
The community meetings, Sullivan said are designed to gather input and determine what sorts of solutions might be best for Sammamish. While police will still be enforcing DUI laws, Sullivan said that by the time police are involved, there is already a problem.
“At that point, they’re already driving impaired,” Sullivan said.
The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. March 27 at City Hall.