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Monday, August 14, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Here and Now

Drunken-driving crackdown

Funding from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is making it possible for law-enforcement agencies across King County to assign extra personnel to street patrols, starting this weekend, in a coordinated crackdown on drunken drivers.

Extra patrols will take place from Friday until Sept. 4 — Labor Day.

In King County, the commission will pay for more than 860 extra patrol hours on the roads. Participating in the emphasis are police departments in Auburn, Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Clyde Hill, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Medina, Normandy Park, the Port of Seattle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, Tukwila and Woodinville, along with the State Patrol.

Last August in King County, participating law-enforcement agencies made 175 drunken-driving arrests.

The commission said more citations for driving under the influence are issued during August than any other month. In this state, drunken driving is the single largest cause of fatal collisions.

Focus on the force

The Seattle Police Department is due for a visit from an assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies as part of reaccreditation.

The team wants to verify that the police force meets professional standards administered by the Virginia-based commission. The program, conducted every three years, requires agencies to comply with stringent standards in areas of policy and procedures, administration, operations and support services.

At a meeting at 7 p.m. today, the assessment team has set aside time for public comments on the Police Department's ability to comply with standards for accreditation. Comments will be limited to 10 minutes per person and must address accreditation standards. The meeting will be in the lower-level conference room at police headquarters, 610 Fifth Ave.

A copy of the commission's standards can be reviewed at any of the Police Department's five precincts or at police headquarters. For information, call 206-684-4116.

Online permit process

Seattle residents and businesses can now apply online for street-use permits for construction or commercial projects in or along city streets and sidewalks.

The city's Department of Transportation says the online permitting system, which the department calls OLP, will save applicants a trip downtown to get street-use permits. Applicants also can check the permit status online.

The Web site is www.seattle.gov/transportation/stuse_permits_online.htm.

Seattle's Department of Transportation has more than 60 kinds of permits for use, occupation or construction in the transportation right-of-way. Most of them are in the online system.

Here & Now is compiled by Seattle Times staff reporter Charles E. Brown and news assistant Suesan Whitney Henderson. To submit an item, e-mail herenow@seattletimes.com or call 206-464-2226.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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