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DUII Crackdown Continues Through Labor Day Holiday Weekend
08/26/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
 
Ms. Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
Office: (503) 986-3438

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police today announced initial arrest results for the 2008 crackdown on impaired driving currently under way. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest, which launched on August 15th, is a national intensive enforcement crackdown on impaired driving through Labor Day weekend, September 1st.
 
"OSP troopers have made 96 impaired driving arrests as of August 25th in support of the national crackdown," said Captain Gerry Gregg, director of the OSP Patrol Services Division. "This crackdown runs through the Labor Day weekend so expect to see more OSP troopers, sheriff deputies and city police officers out there to help get more impaired drivers off our roadways before they ruin your trip."
 
For the second year in a row OSP is joining Washington State Patrol and California Highway Patrol during the official holiday period, August 29th through September 1st, with an increased focus on Interstate 5 from border to border in each state. Leaders from each state law enforcement agency hope the extra patrol presence and increased enforcement will prevent crashes caused by the same dangerous driving behavior that knows no borders.
 
On average since 1970, seven traffic-related deaths have happened in Oregon each year during Labor Day holiday periods. During last year's Labor Day holiday period, August 31 – September 3, six people died in 6 separate fatal traffic crashes in Oregon. Forty-nine holiday traffic fatalities were reported in California and five fatalities in Washington.
 
Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is illegal in all 50 States. Yet in 2006 alone, nearly 13,500 people were killed in U.S. motor vehicle crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
 
"It's clear that too many people still don't understand that impaired driving is no accident — nor is it a victimless crime," said Captain Gregg. "So our message is simple and unwavering: if you get caught driving while impaired, you will be arrested. No exceptions."
 
In each of the last two years over Labor Day holiday periods; OSP troopers reported 78 DUII arrests. Over the 2008 Fourth of July holiday period, troopers arrested 94 DUII drivers.
 
The Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Transportation offer the following safety reminders for holiday travel:
  • Be watchful for emergency vehicles displaying required warning lights and using emergency equipment. Yield when required and maintain a safe distance when they are working on our highways.
  • Get plenty of rest before starting out. Fatigued drivers are more frequent during holiday weekends because of increased travel and activity. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • Expect the unexpected. Be informed and prepared when traveling on any of our highways.
  • When traveling anywhere, plan ahead and take known routes if possible. For road conditions in Oregon, call 5-1-1 or (800) 977-ODOT (6368). Outside Oregon, dial (503) 588-2941. Visiting TripCheck.com on the Internet provides information on road and weather conditions, incidents and traffic delays, and links to numerous cameras along major routes.
  • With nicer weather and rising gas prices, more motorcycles and bicycles are being used on our highways. Be on the lookout and keep from being distracted from your driving task.
  • If considering a remote route that you have never traveled on, don't hesitate to contact available road and weather condition phone number or Internet resources, or contact police or highway department officials.
  • Be aware that many road construction projects are underway around the state. The scope of work zones is projected to continue to increase through implementation of the Oregon Transportation Improvement Act, the biggest overhaul and modernization of Oregon highways and bridges in decades.
  • Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double. Inactive work zones still have equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway so drivers need to slow down and be alert.
  • Always use safety restraints and child safety seats correctly.
  • Don't drink and drive.

 
All motorists play an important part in keeping our highways and city streets safe. Immediately report aggressive, dangerous and intoxicated drivers to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865) or call 9-1-1.
 
For more information on the national crackdown, visit the High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Headquarters at www.StopImpairedDriving.org.