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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

WSP: Go Gonzaga, but drive sober

UPDATED: Fri., April 2, 2021

State police are beefing up patrols and warning motorists about the dangers of driving drunk this weekend as Gonzaga’s men’s basketball team heads to the Final Four on Saturday.

The Washington State Patrol will have additional troopers on duty Saturday night who will watch for impaired driving, speeding and other traffic violations, it said in a news release on Friday.

“We will have zero tolerance for drivers who are stopped and are impaired,” Lt. Chuck Arnold, acting District 4 commander, said in a statement. “Our troopers will continue to do what it takes to remove these dangerous drivers from our roads”.

Troopers from state patrol’s Mobile Impaired Driving Unit will be equipped with breath test machines and deployed to Spokane.

“Basketball fans who plan to be out watching Gonzaga beat UCLA in their Final Four matchup should plan ahead and not drive impaired,” the release stated.

Earlier this week, Gonzaga’s victory in the Elite Eight sparked a ruckus near the Gonzaga campus.

Police were dispatched when about 400 people gathered around a burning couch after Gonzaga defeated another California-based opponent, USC, to advance to the Final Four.

The university has warned students against participating in similar celebrations this weekend.

“We will continue to communicate with our students about safe practices and the potential consequences of their actions,” Gonzaga spokesman Pete Tormey said in a statement this week. “We’ve urged our students, staff, faculty and visitors to rededicate themselves to the COVID-19 health safety protocols followed throughout the academic year including mandatory masks, social distancing, and safe outdoor gatherings.”

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