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May-23-2018 17:29printcomments

Memorial Day Weekend is No Time to Drive Loaded

Drunk driving crashes are PREVENTABLE!

drive sober

(SALEM, Ore.) - Along with police agencies across the country, the Marion County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Team will be on the lookout for impaired drivers this Memorial Day Weekend.

Beginning May 25th and ending May 28th, the Marion County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Team will be stepping up their patrols, adding additional deputies who will be attempting to locate DUII drivers.

May is Oregon Department of Transportation’s Safety Month, which concludes Memorial Day weekend. Extra enforcement is in an effort to help save lives by cracking down on those making dangerous driving decisions.

Deputies will be working all hours of the day and night to ensure a safe traveling experience for our residents and visitors. The focus, according to ODOT, will be to make sure child passengers are buckled up; ensuring traffic moves over for emergency vehicles; and getting impaired drivers off the road.

During the summer months, there is usually an increase in the number of vehicles on the nation’s roadways. Families take to the highways for vacations and extended road trips. These excursions can start off as a happy occasion; they can too often result in tragedy due to negligence and failure to properly execute the necessary steps to ensure safe travel.

According to the National Safety Council, over 400 people may die in crash related fatalities during this Memorial Day holiday period throughout the United States.

Since 1970, 259 people in Oregon have died in traffic crashes during the ‘summer-kickoff’ holiday period. More than half of those deaths were the result of alcohol-involved crashes, ODOT said.

In the last decade-plus, 14 of those that died were not wearing seatbelts.

"Day or night, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk when they drive without any consideration for safety," said Richard Evans, a police spokesman.

"Those who choose not to drive safely or don’t buckle up every time shouldn't be surprised if police pull them over and take enforcement action."

Over the five previous Memorial Day weekends, troopers arrested over 400 DUII drivers, including 88 during last year’s 78-hour period.

Tragedy due to driving under the influence can be prevented. In order to have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, make a plan. If you are going to be drinking, plan ahead and designate a sober driver. It's the right thing to do.

MCSO patrols are made possible through grants administered by partners at the Oregon State Sheriff's Association and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Source: Marion County Sheriff's Office; Oregon Dept of Transportation

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