Eat, drink and be merry this holiday season, but if you find yourself a little too merry, don’t get behind the wheel of an automobile.
This holiday season, the Oregon State Police (OSP), Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association (OSSA), and Oregon Association Chiefs of Police (OACP) urge everyone to support their enforcement efforts and show zero tolerance for drunk and drugged driving.
Throughout December, law enforcement agencies around the country are stepping up enforcement efforts during a time when the excitement and celebrations of the holiday season can lead to terrible decisions and serious legal consequences. Those decisions can impact lives of innocent people on the road, so on Friday, December 20, please remember those affected by an impaired driver whenever you see headlights on vehicles during daytime hours.
To help save lives on our roads this holiday season, OSP and local law enforcement partners have been involved in a special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown to stop impaired drivers beginning Dec. 13, 2013, through Jan. 1, 2014. Starting 12:01 a.m., Friday, Dec. 20, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 22, police officers nationwide and in Oregon will be stepping up these enforcement efforts for “National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend.”
“Drunk driving is a killer on the roads all year round,” said OSP Superintendent Richard Evans. “Sadly, the holiday season is particularly a dangerous time because more impaired drivers are behind the wheel of a vehicle. We ask everyone to take a stand now, plan ahead, and don’t be the cause of a traffic crash that claims someone’s life, or your own.”
Because the Christmas holiday is on Wednesday, the official reporting period is 30 hours, starting 6 p.m., Dec. 24, through 11:59 p.m., Dec. 25. Last year in Oregon during a 102-hour Christmas holiday reporting period, three people died in 3 separate fatal traffic crashes on Oregon roads and OSP troopers reported 53 DUII arrests.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 32,000 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2011, and 31 percent of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes. Last year in Oregon, 37 percent of crashes in which someone died involved an impaired driver.