DUI emphasis patrols set in memory of Sequim resident

On the evening of Nov. 6, local law enforcement agencies in Clallam County will participate in a patrol emphasis to detect impaired drivers.

The emphasis is dedicated to the memory of Andrew Courney, a Sequim resident who was struck and killed by an impaired driver.

He was one of 14 people killed in traffic collisions in 2017 on the Olympic Peninsula (Clallam and Jefferson counties).

According to local law enforcement officials, Courney was an avid kayaker who loved the ocean, and one of his favorite places to watch the sun set over the ocean was the bluffs at the Sequim Dungeness recreation area. On the afternoon of Oct. 18, 2017, he went to the Dungeness recreation area to view an incoming storm. After leaving the park, he was struck and killed by an impaired driver who drove straight through a roadway curve.

The Olympic Peninsula’s 10-year average of traffic deaths is 10 people per year, according to Joshua Ley, Target Zero Manager for Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Region 1.

As in Courney’s case, about 55 percent of those fatal crashes involved impaired drivers,” Ley noted.

A Montana State University 2018 study found, however, that most adults in Washington state (83 percent) believe it is unacceptable to drive within two hours of consuming alcohol or cannabis. The survey also found that most adults in a situation to intervene (80 percent of those surveyed) take action to prevent impaired driving.