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Designate a Sober Driver This St. Patrick's Day
03/16/2010
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

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For what has become a popular night out to celebrate with family and friends, St. Patrick's Day also poses a very dangerous reality due to a large number of intoxicated drivers on area roads. For that reason, troopers, deputies and city police officers will be looking to remove the intoxicated driver before their, and your, luck runs out.
 
On St. Patrick's Day 2008, 37 percent of all drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, according to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of the 134 crash fatalities nationally last year on St. Patrick's Day, 50 people were killed in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08 or higher.
 
According to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), no traffic fatalities were reported in Oregon for the 2008 and 2009 St. Patrick's Day.
 
"Don't fool yourself into thinking that meeting with a few friends at the local pub after work for a few drinks won't hurt anyone. Have a safe plan developed before going out so you, and your friends, can get home safely," said Oregon State Police Superintendent (OSP) Timothy McLain.
 
The OSP Mobile DUII Processing Center (MPDC) motor home has rolled in to the OSP Portland Area Command office to assist with DUII investigations. The 36-foot motor home is retrofitted with all the equipment necessary to test and process intoxicated drivers including three Intoxilyzer Model 8000 breath-alcohol testing equipment, three work stations with laptops and printers, and two temporary holding cells. The unit also includes emergency supplies, cell phones and radio communications equipment.
 
Anyone traveling on Oregon roads and streets are asked to pay close attention for other drivers who may be out driving after celebrating irresponsibly. If you see a possible intoxicated driver, don't hesitate to call 9-1-1 or OSP dispatch at 800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).
 
Following these easy suggestions can help a driver enjoy a safe and festive evening without jeopardizing their life or the lives of others who may be on the road.
  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
  • Please designate a sober driver before you begin drinking;
  • If impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get you home safely;
  • And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride their motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
 
For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.