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DUII Awareness Event Kicks off National Campaign Crackdown Against DUII
08/18/2009
Chuck Hayes, Chair
Governor's Advisory Committee on DUII
(503) 585-0055

 
Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
(503) 986-3438

 
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Oregon State Police
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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ODOT Photographs on Flicker:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/sets/72157621954391869/
 
Media Notes:
* Contact your local law enforcement agencies to learn about any special enforcement efforts in their area
* ODOT is preparing video clips of interviews with today's attendees including legislators, law enforcement representatives and safety partners. Questions about the video clips may be directed to Shelley Snow, ODOT Public Affairs, at 503-986-3438
* Photographs from today's demonstration provided with this release
 
***
 
To kick off the state's participation in the national Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. campaign set to start August 21st, the Oregon Governor's Advisory Committee on DUII, in conjunction with the Oregon State Police, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, and the Oregon Department of Transportation held an impairment awareness demonstration today at the Portland Police Bureau's Southeast Precinct. The national DUII crackdown campaign in Oregon will include several individual agency and multi-agency enhanced patrol efforts, similar to one scheduled Friday night in Clackamas County, leading up to the second deadliest major holiday so lives can be saved everyday.
 
Today, Oregon Senator Rod Monroe and State Representative Kevin Cameron joined police, traffic safety partners and family members of victims whose lives were cut short by an impaired driver. Volunteers consumed various amounts of alcohol and were tested by police officers to demonstrate the intoxicating effects of alcohol and how these effects relate to driving. The field sobriety tests to be demonstrated at the event will include the horizontal gaze nystagmus eye test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test.
 
Driving under the influence is one of America's deadliest crimes. In Oregon last year, 136 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired crashes, according to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Over the 2008 Labor Day weekend alone, nine people died in crashes involving alcohol or drugs. Nationwide in 2008, nearly 12,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

 
According to FARS, the Labor Day holiday period is historically the second deadliest on Oregon roads of all the holiday periods throughout the year. Last year's deadly crashes in Oregon
occurred on roadways in nearly every corner of the state including Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, Coos, Grant, Harney and Yamhill counties. The picture for motorcycle riders, both across the country and in Oregon, is particularly bleak. In 2008, motorcyclist fatalities continued their 11-year increase nationwide, reaching 5,290. In Oregon in 2008, 48 motorcyclists died in crashes; 18 of those were in alcohol-involved crashes. (Data from previous years has shown that while motorcycle registrations have increased, the increase in motorcycle fatalities has increased more steeply.
 
The national Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. impaired driving crackdown is a organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and supported by law enforcement throughout the nation. On the crackdown's first night, state troopers, county deputies, and city officers from the Clackamas County area will team together in what is expected to be one of many enforcement efforts between August 21 and September 7.

 
Last year during the Labor Day holiday period, August 29 – September 1, Oregon State Police troopers reported 87 DUII arrests. This was an increase from the 2007 and 2006 Labor Day holiday weekends when OSP troopers arrested 78 intoxicated drivers each year.

 
"Driving under the influence is a serious crime in Oregon. The wheels of an intoxicated driver touch every highway in our state and the solution rests with every driver who is faced with the decision about whether or not to drive after drinking," said Lane County Sheriff Russel Burger.
 
"Make no mistake. Our message is simple and to the point. No matter what you drive — a passenger car, pickup, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle — if you get caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested," said Chuck Hayes, chair of the Governor's Advisory Committee on DUII and retired director of the Oregon State Police Patrol Services Division. "Driving under the influence is just not acceptable."

 
For more information about the national crackdown, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.
 
Law enforcement representatives were present from the following agencies:
* Oregon State Police
* Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
* Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
* Lane County Sheriff's Office
* Portland Police Bureau
* Gresham Police Department
* Beaverton Police Department
* Hillsboro Police Department
* Troutdale Police Department
* Department of Public Safety Standards and Training