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Post-Labor Day Holiday Weekend and DUII Crackdown Preliminary Statistics
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Shelley M. Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
Office: (503) 986-3438

Preliminary information indicates one person died on Oregon roadways during the 2009 Labor Day Holiday 78-hour extended weekend period, the third time a single fatality has been recorded during this holiday weekend since 1970 when statistical records have been gathered by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). DUII arrests by Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers were down this holiday weekend, but OSP and other agency DUII arrest numbers provided by other law enforcement agencies confirmed officers around the state were kept busy during the holiday weekend and national crackdown that ran August 21st through September 7th.
Since 1970, ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) has been tracking major holiday traffic fatality statistics. According to those numbers, an average of 7 people die each year during the 78-hour Labor Day Holiday extended weekend. Last year, 11 people died in Oregon traffic crashes. Previously there was one recorded fatality over Labor Day weekend in 1999 and 2001. The highest number of traffic fatalities was in 1978 when there were 17 deaths.
The single fatality happened following a single vehicle rollover crash on September 5, 2009 at approximately 1:26 a.m. that resulted in the death of a 25-year old Grants Pass-area man in the 6700 block of Monument Drive. The victim was ejected from the vehicle and died several hours later at Three Rivers Hospital. Josephine County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency.
Historically, the Labor Day Holiday weekend is the second deadliest major holiday weekend in Oregon. Alcohol is a contributing factor in over half of these holiday traffic fatalities. During the Labor Day Holiday weekend, Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers reported 72 DUII arrests. This was down from 87 reported DUII arrests last year and 78 arrests reported in both 2007 and 2006. Other sheriff and city police agencies reported holiday weekend DUII arrests:
  • Portland Police Bureau – 20 DUII arrests
  • Eugene Police Department – 12 DUII arrests
  • Multnomah County Sheriff's Office - 10 DUII arrests
  • Beaverton Police Department - 9 DUII arrests
  • Salem Police Department – 6 DUII arrests
  • Deschutes County Sheriff's Office - 6 DUII arrests
  • Douglas County Sheriff's Office – 4 DUII arrests
  • Coos County Multi-Agency DUII Task Force - 3 DUII Arrests
  • Lincoln City Police Department - 2 DUII arrests
Since August 21st, Oregon law enforcement agencies teamed together with others around the country as part of a national crackdown against impaired drivers. The national campaign, "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." ran through the Labor Day Holiday weekend ending September 7th. During the crackdown period DUII arrests reported by other police agencies included Gresham Police Department (26 DUII arrests), Hillsboro Police Department (14 DUII arrests), and Newberg-Dundee Police Department (12 DUII arrests). OSP troopers reported 252 DUII driver arrests, a 13 percent increase over the number arrested during last year's campaign period.
OSP offices reporting the highest numbers of DUII arrests during the national crackdown period were:
  • Portland Area Command Office – 42 DUII arrests
  • Springfield Area Command Office – 24 DUII arrests
  • Salem Area Command Office – 23 DUII arrests
  • Central Point Area Command Office – 22 DUII arrests
  • Klamath Falls Area Command Office – 21 DUII arrests
In addition to increased DUII enforcement efforts, OSP troopers worked with several county and city agencies targeting hazardous traffic violations. During the holiday weekend, preliminary enforcement statistics for OSP troopers show over 1,350 speed-related citations, more than 200 safety restraint citations and warnings, and 456 disabled motorists assisted including 341 along interstate freeways. Troopers also responded to nearly 100 traffic crashes.
The Oregon Governor's Advisory Committee on DUII, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, Oregon Department of Transportation and our traffic safety partners reminds everyone that driving under the influence is one of America's deadliest crimes. In Oregon last year, 136 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired crashes. Nationwide in 2008, nearly 12,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver of motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.