Maybe a life was saved or an auto accident prevented when officers from DNR Law Enforcement Service, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol combined efforts Saturday evening to crack down on underaged drinking in Capitol State Forest. Seven people, including four minors, were taken into custody after officers found them drinking around an illegal campfire in the DNR-managed forest.
The emphasis patrol — described in the Tacoma News Tribune and Bellingham Herald — is targeting several ongoing problems: alcohol consumption by underaged people, furnishing alcohol to minors, and drunken driving. And add a fourth problem: illegal campfires.
Funded with a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the emphasis squad is patrolling popular gathering areas in Thurston County where parties with underage drinking have occurred in the past. The problem crops up every year in state forests and other wildlands almost like clockwork after the weather turns warm and schools let out for the summer break.
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