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Media Advisory: "Celebrity Wetlab" Aims to Raise Awareness to Prevent Crashes, Save Lives in Central Oregon
06/13/2011
Daina Vitolins, District Attorney
Crook County District Attorney's Office
(541) 447-4158

Kicking off the summer rodeo and horse racing season, the Crook County Victim Impact Panel is hosting a "Celebrity Wetlab" event June 21, 2011 to raise the public's awareness about the importance of driving sober to help prevent crashes, injuries and save lives this summer.
 
Impaired driving is one of America's deadliest problems. In 2009 alone, over 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic-related fatalities nationwide. That's an average of one impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes in the United States.
 
Crook County District Attorney Daina Vitolins said that impaired drivers not only take the risk of hurting themselves or someone else, the trauma and financial costs of an alcohol-impaired driving crash or an arrest can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated costs.
 
The "Celebrity Wetlab" event will consist of seven volunteer drinkers including a local newspaper editor, a county commissioner, and the president of the Crook River Round Up and Horse Races. The volunteers will be tested by police officers to demonstrate the intoxicating effects of alcohol to driving. The event is open to the media for interviews, field sobriety test demonstrations, and breath testing of volunteer drinkers. For more information call District Attorney Vitolins at (541) 447-4158.
 
When: Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
 
Tentative schedule:
3:00 p.m. Event kickoff/briefing with volunteer drinkers
5:30 p.m. Media briefing and interviews with invited guests and law enforcement representatives
6:00 p.m. Start field sobriety testing on volunteer drinkers and individual breath testing
8:00 p.m. Final breath tests and event wrap-up
 
Where:
Crook County Fire & Rescue
500 Northeast Belknap Street
Prineville, Oregon
 
The Oregon State Police Mobile DUII Processing Center (MDPC) motor home will be traveling to Prineville for the "Celebrity Wetlab". The MDPC was purchased in 2007 through grant provided through ODOTs Transportation Safety Division and is equipped with 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.
 
The Crook County Victims Impact Panel consists of a member of the Crook County District Attorney's Office, Oregon State Police, Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff's Office, Crook County Juvenile Department, and Crook County Parole & Probation.
 
*** Statistics for Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties - Source: ODOT DUII Data Book for Oregon Counties 1999 through 2008 ***
 
Crook County
Fatal & Injury Crashes - 802
Total Fatalities - 36
Fatalities w/Alcohol - 9
Total DUII Offenses - 2,012
 
Deschutes County
Fatal & Injury Crashes - 6,951
Total Fatalities - 186
Fatalities w/Alcohol - 75
Total DUII Offenses - 11,696
 
Jefferson County
Fatal & Injury Crashes - 841
Total Fatalities - 93
Fatalities w/Alcohol - 55
Total DUII Offenses - 1,816