Deputies Begin Graduation DUII Patrols
JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be working overtime to help keep our roads safe this graduation season. On June 5, 2019, JCSO deputies begin a 10-day "Summer Kick-Off" impaired driving enforcement event.
“High school graduation is a time for new beginnings,” said JCSO Sheriff Nathan Sickler. “The last thing we want to see is a tragedy during a time when people should be celebrating.”
The overtime patrols are funded through traffic safety grants. Deputies may be found anywhere in the county; however, with the school year drawing to a close, targeted patrols can be expected in areas that typically tend to attract minors using alcohol and drugs, and the routes to popular recreation areas.
While deputies do not condone the use of alcohol and drugs by minors, they offer the following general tips to help prevent impaired driving:
- DRINK OR DRIVE: Once you know where you'll spend your time, decide whether you're drinking or driving - choose only one.
- GETTING AROUND: Before you take your first sip, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Get a ride from a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- HAVE A BACKUP PLAN: Save the number of a taxi company in your phone so you are always ready. In some areas, you can use ride share services such as Uber or Lyft.
- CAMP OUT: Rural areas may not have cell phone service. Take an overnight bag with you so you can spend the night if you’re too intoxicated to drive.
- PASSENGERS, TOO: Drivers aren't the only ones at risk. Only accept a ride from a sober driver.
- HELP A FRIEND: If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, help them to make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
- SAY SOMETHING: If you suspect an impaired driver on the roadway, call police immediately. It is okay to call 911 to report an impaired driver.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,278 drivers under the age of 21 were involved in fatal crashes in 2017. Of those, 15% had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08% (Note: In Oregon, the legal threshold for impairment in persons under age 21 is 0.04% BAC).
The impairment percentage increases dramatically for drivers in the 21-24 year age group; 27% of the 5,007 drivers involved in fatal crashes had a BAC over 0.08%. Deputies say this is important to note because parties attended by high school and college students frequently include people in the 21-24 year age group, increasing the likelihood of alcohol use and impaired driving.
For more information and statistics related to impaired driving, follow this link: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812630 .