Hood River Police Department will be conducting a traffic safety blitz campaign through Dec. 3.
Officers will focus on people driving under the influence of intoxicants, according to Police Chief Neal Holste. This is in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This will be the first of several high visibility enforcement efforts throughout the year. There will be a higher number of police officers on patrol during these enforcement periods.
Most people are aware of the .08 blood alcohol limit. A person may still be impaired under a .08 BAC. You can also be charged with a DUII if you are under the influence of a controlled substance, inhalant or prescription medications.
It is the duty of the law enforcement officer to determine if a person is too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. The offense of driving under the influence of intoxicants (ORS 813.010) is a class A misdemeanor. This offense can be punishable by jail time, fines and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to three years, depending on your driving record and past DUII offenses.
The NHTSA provided the following statistics, which were compiled from 2011. In 2011, there were 9,878 fatalities in crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher — 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year. A total of 3,371 people were killed in drunk driving crashes who were not the drunk driver; 1,612 were passengers in a drunk driver’s vehicle, many of them too young to drive, including 91 children under the age of 15 years old; 1,049 were motorists of other vehicles involved in a crash with a drunk driver; 710 were pedestrians or bicyclists; 6,507 were the drunk drivers themselves.
“The Hood River Police Department asks that people drive responsibly,” Holste said. “If you feel you have had too much to drink or are not in the right frame of mind, please request a ride from a sober party or call a taxi.”