More booze doesn't lead to more drunk drivers

More booze doesn't lead to more drunk drivers »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- A year after booze was privatized in Washington, KEPR uncovered numbers that suggest DUI cases have actually gone down in our area.

The arguments were plastered on TV for months.

Opponents claimed the privatization of liquor would lead to more drunks on our roads.

A year later, KEPR uncovered numbers that suggest DUI cases have actually gone down in our area.

In the Tri-Cities, troopers have arrested 699 people for DUI this year. Despite privatization, that's still 15 fewer arrests than before the law took effect.

Under the Target Zero program, state troopers have focused on known hotspots for drunks and problem times of the day. The result? Far fewer DUI wrecks this year, even as alcohol is more readily available than before.

You also have to consider that sales of liquor haven't been that strong. High liquor taxes in Washington have caused many people to buy alcohol in Oregon.

As KEPR told you last summer, convenience stores in Hermiston saw a 20% spike in alcohol sales when liquor taxes went up.

It's come at the expense of Washington. Since I-1183 was passed nearly 60 liquor businesses across the state have shut down because of a lack of interest.

The end result has been more choices to buy booze in the state but not actually more DUI cases on our roads.