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“Lights on for Life,” OSP zero tolerance for drunk/drugged driving

This is what zero tolerance looks like...

This is what zero tolerance looks like…

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 December 13, 2013, through January 1, 2014. Starting 12:01 a.m., Friday, December 20, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, December 22, police officers nationwide and in Oregon will be stepping up these enforcement efforts for “National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend.”

Because the Christmas holiday is on Wednesday, the official reporting period is 30 hours, starting 6:00 p.m., December 24, through 11:59 p.m., December 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 (1 every 16 seconds) 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.

Law enforcement offers these tips:

* If your drinking over the holidays, have designated drivers. Plan to have sober drivers at your party who can help get folks home safely. Volunteer to be a sober driver at someone else’s party.
* Plan to stay overnight. Make pre-arrangements to stay overnight at your friend’s home or in a hotel room where you won’t have to drive if you have been drinking.
* Monitor car keys. Collect your guests’ car keys at the beginning of your event. Then, talk with your guests before they leave about the best transportation options for them.
* Be ready with a cab fare fund. Having available cash to pay cab fare for your guests if they need it reduces the stress on you. If you can’t afford to pay for it yourself, ask your guests to pitch in a few bucks on your invitation. And keep phone numbers handy.
* Be responsible. 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.
* Walking or bicycling after dark? Wear bright clothes to help you stand out.
* Buckle up, every trip, every time.
* Drive defensively at all times.

Another way to show zero tolerance for impaired driving is to report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 or OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865).

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