|St. Patrick's Day Weekend Safety Reminder: Designate a Sober Driver Before You Celebrate|
|Sergeant Greg Plummer |
Oregon State Police
DUII/SFST Program Coordinator
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Links to NHTSA images in English and Spanish valid 30 days
English - http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-03/1002/52512/St.Patricks.Day.nhtsa.jpg
Spanish - http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-03/1002/52512/Spanish.St._Patricks.Day.nhtsa.jpg
Whether meeting a few friends for a drink or attending one of many events in your community this St. Patrick's Day weekend, Oregon law enforcement agencies and traffic safety partners urge everyone to designate a sober driver to get you home safely. Remember: 'Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving'.
"Unfortunately, one of the most widely celebrated days of the year all too often shares the distinction of being associated with a sadder reality --- too many people are driving drunk and endangering themselves and others on the road," said OSP Sergeant Greg Plummer, DUII/SFST Program Coordinator. "Don't risk hurting or killing yourself or someone else. Even if you've had just a few drinks, don't kid yourself into thinking you can be lucky enough to get home."
During last year's national reporting period for St. Patrick's Day (6:00 p.m., March 16, through 5:59 a.m., March 18) two people died in Oregon traffic crashes. Both traffic-related deaths involved pedestrian victims, one of which resulted in the arrest of the offending driver on multiple charges. Prior to last year there were no reported traffic fatalities in Oregon during the previous four years during the St. Patrick's Day period.
According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 percent of the motor vehicle traffic fatalities during St. Patrick's Day 2009 involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent. That year, there were 103 crash fatalities, of which 39 people were killed in traffic crashes involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08 percent.
Last year, OSP troopers reported 16 DUII arrests statewide between 12 noon, March 17, and 4:00 a.m., March 18. The Oregon State Police Springfield Area Command office reported the highest number (5) during the sixteen hour period.
Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, ODOT and the Oregon Health Authority's Addictions and Mental Health Division recommend the following precautions to help everyone enjoy a safe St. Patrick's Day:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin and designate a sober driver.
- If you decide to drink once you're out, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1 or 1-800-24-DRUNK.
- If you are hosting a party, serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.com.