Law enforcement agencies around Oregon are stepping up their patrols over the holidays this year. County sheriff's deputies are teaming up against drunk and distracted drivers during Christmas and New Years. Agencies around the state are participating in campaigns increasing the amount of police patrolling between December 15th and January 1st.
Holiday traffic and parties
More drivers are on the road during the holiday season, travelling to see their families. Holiday get-togethers add to the high volume of traffic. Christmas parties and New Year's celebrations often involve excess fun, food and alcohol consumption. After a night of celebrating with friends and family, people are more likely to drive home after a few drinks.
Drinking and driving is more common around the last few weeks of December. Unfortunately, the consequences of drunk driving can not only lead to jail time and fines, but harm to others on the road. There is an average of 33 fatal accidents in Oregon in December alone. Most of those fatal accidents likely involve alcohol. In fact, out of the 450 fatal accidents on Oregon roads in 2015, 82 percent of the drivers involved had driven after drinking.
Troopers are watching for five driving errors
The increased likelihood for drunk driving-related fatalities are the reason behind an increased presence of law enforcement on the roads this season. The purpose behind these campaigns is to reduce intoxicated driving-related injuries and deaths.
That is why troopers will be looking out for the "fatal five" driving errors, including not using a seat belt, speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving and intoxicated driving. Intoxicated means either impaired by alcohol or drugs. Even though marijuana is legalized in Oregon, that does not mean that drugged driving is tolerated. Police officers will be looking out for drivers impaired by drugs, including marijuana. If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI/DUII, then contact an attorney right away. Every moment counts when facing drunk or drugged driving charges.
Celebrate responsibly this holiday season and choose to protect yourself and others on the road. Instead of drinking and driving, choose to take a taxi or nominate a sober driver.