Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Don't Risk It This New Year's Holiday Weekend: "Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over"
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
(503) 881-5362

Image link valid 30 days - Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
It is not worth the risk to drive while impaired, so Oregon law enforcement agencies are reminding everyone to Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over and not let your 2011 end or New Year begin with an arrest for DUII.
"During the Christmas and New Years holiday season, many adults celebrate and enjoy themselves with a couple of drinks, but even one may increase the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle," said Captain Mike Dingeman, director of the Oregon State Police (OSP) Patrol Services Division.
State, county and city law enforcement agencies in Oregon and throughout the country are stepping up enforcement efforts during the New Year's Holiday weekend starting 6:00 p.m., Friday, December 30, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, January 2, 2012. In support of law enforcement efforts to reduce crashes caused by impaired and other dangerous drivers, ODOT variable message signs will also display the reminder highway travelers to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over during the holiday weekend.
One person died in an Oregon traffic crash during last year's 78-hour reporting period for the New Year's Holiday weekend. According to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), approximately 5 people died on average each year in Oregon traffic crashes during the New Year's Holiday period.
OSP troopers reported 79 DUII drivers arrested over last year's New Years Holiday period. More than half of the arrests happened January 1st between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.
"There is nothing to celebrate sitting in a jail cell," said Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton, President of the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association (OSSA). "Don't let your 2011 holiday season end in an arrest or something worse. Remember, it's not worth the risk."
Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police (OACP), and ODOT officials offer these safety tips:
  • If you are planning to drink, plan ahead: designate a sober driver or arrange for a taxi to pick you up at a set time.
  • If you are hosting a party, offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and help your guests be responsible. Don't let someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel.
  • Volunteer to be a designated driver.
  • Walking or bicycling after dark? Wear bright clothes to help you stand out, and always look both ways before crossing, even at an intersection.
  • Buckle up, every trip, every time.
  • Drive defensively at all times.
  • Be rested, alert, slow down and "know before you go" by staying up to date on road and weather conditions by visiting www.TripCheck.com or calling 5-1-1.
  • And remember, Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take that person's keys and help him or her make other arrangements to get home safely.
Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda urges anyone seeing a suspected impaired driving on any road to call 9-1-1 or Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).
"That one call could save someone's life," said Chief Miranda, OACP President.
Media note: Ride-along requests should be directed to your local OSP office, county sheriff's office, or police department.
Additional information is available at www.nhtsa.gov/Impaired.