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Governor Proclaims December 'Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness' Month
12/01/2009
Gretchen McKenzie
ODOT Impaired Driving Program Manager
(503) 986-4183
 
Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
(503) 986-3438
 
Senior Trooper Michael Iwai
Oregon State Police
(503) 934-0267

Throughout the month of December, law enforcement agencies will be keeping a keen eye out for impaired drivers. Historically, December is Oregon’s busiest month for crashes. That may be due in part to weather conditions, but excessive holiday celebrations can also be a contributing factor. No matter what the situation, it’s important that drivers be sober and focused on the task at hand.
 
“By working together toward a common goal of reducing the incidents of drinking and drugged driving, we will enjoy a safer roadway system,” Governor Ted Kulongoski wrote in proclaiming December as Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness month.
 
In the past decade in Oregon, more than 2,000 individuals were killed and over 26,000 people were injured by drinking and drugged drivers. Local law enforcement efforts throughout the month and around the state coincide with the national “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” campaign.
 
“Planning ahead is one of the most important things you can do during the holiday season,” said Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett. “Whether it’s designating a sober driver or checking on road conditions, getting things all set before you get behind the wheel is your best bet.”
 
ODOT’s travel website, www.TripCheck.com, contains up-to-date road conditions, weather reports, incident alerts and other valuable “know before you go” information. ODOT officials and the Oregon State Police also offer these safety tips:
  •  Don't drink (or take drugs) and drive (and remember, “buzzed” driving is drunk driving), and don't ride with anyone who is impaired.
  • Volunteer to be a designated driver.
  • If someone is impaired insists on driving, take his/her keys.
  • If hosting a gathering, provide non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Use public transit or local drive-home services provided by taxis and other companies.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Avoid travel after midnight, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Drive defensively at all times.
 
Report impaired drivers by calling Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865) or dialing 9-1-1.