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National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend Kicks Off Crackdown on Impaired Drivers
12/18/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

 
Gretchen McKenzie
ODOT Impaired Driving Program Manager
Office: (503) 986-4183

 
Shelley M. Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
Office: (503) 986-3438

Kicking off the first of 3 special enforcement periods during the upcoming holidays, the "National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend" starts at 12:01 a.m., Friday, December 18th, and runs through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, December 20th. Earlier this week, law enforcement leaders in Oregon announced participation with thousands of other law enforcement agencies in a nationwide crackdown on impaired driving.
 
"National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend" is a public awareness effort conducted since 1991 on the weekend preceding Christmas. In the past decade in Oregon, more than 2,000 individuals were killed and over 26,000 people injured by drinking and drugged drivers. Nationally in 2008, 11,773 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
 
Oregon State Police (OSP) Superintendent Timothy McLain, Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson (President of Oregon State Sheriff's Association – OSSA), and City of The Dalles Police Chief Jay Waterbury (President of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police - OACP) jointly announced Oregon's participation in the nationwide crackdown, "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest."
 
"Our message is simple everyday, so there should be no excuses or exceptions: if you drive impaired you will be arrested," said McLain.
 
Following "National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend", law enforcement agencies are also planning enhanced enforcement during the Christmas Holiday period (6:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 23rd, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, December 27th), and New Year's Holiday (6:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 30th, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, January 3, 2010).
 
OSP, OSSA, OACP and ODOT urge holiday travelers to remember these tips:
  • Don't drink and drive ("Buzzed driving is drunk driving"), and don't ride with anyone who has had too much to drink.
  • Never use illegal drugs.
  • Volunteer to be a designated driver.
  • If someone who's been drinking 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 use safety restraints.
  • Avoid travel after midnight, especially on weekends or holidays.
  • Drive alert and defensively at all times.
  • Report any suspected impaired driving by calling 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865) or 9-1-1.