SALEM, Ore. - State, county and city law enforcement agencies in Oregon and throughout the country won't be turning their back on impaired and other dangerous drivers during the upcoming New Year's Holiday period starting 6:00 p.m, Friday through 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, January 1, 2013.
Continuing stepped-up enforcement efforts that are part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, Oregon State Police, the Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, and ODOT offer these important 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.
According to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System), six people died last year in four separate fatal traffic crashes on Oregon roads during the 78-hour New Year's Holiday period (6:00 p.m., December 30, 2011, through 11:59 p.m., January 2, 2012).
During the last 10 years, an average of five traffic fatalities have occurred in Oregon each year over this holiday period.
During last year's New Year's Holiday period, OSP troopers reported 65 DUII arrests, 47 of which were made between December 31 and 8:00 a.m., January 1.
"We definitely are concerned after this last weekend and Christmas holiday period when troopers reported nearly twice as many DUII arrests as compared to last year's holiday period," said OSP Major Travis Hampton. "Make the right decision to drive sober. End this year, and start the New Year by keeping everyone's safety on our roads the highest priority."
Oregon law enforcement leaders urge everyone to report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 or OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).