Saturday, December 7, 2013
Preliminary information indicates two people died in Oregon in fatal traffic crashes during the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday reporting period between 6 p.m. Nov. 27 and 11:59 p.m. Dec. 1.
Oregon State Police troopers partnered with Washington State Patrol and California Highway Patrol over the holiday period during an enhanced joint traffic safety effort called the “I-5 Challenge” to promote driving safety and prevent fatal crashes on Interstate 5. Neither fatal crash in Oregon occurred on I-5.
Last year, two people died in two separate fatal traffic crashes in Oregon during the holiday period. Three people died during each of the 2011 and 2010 Thanksgiving holiday reporting periods.
OSP troopers responded to more than 120 traffic crashes, of which seven involved a DUII driver. Approximately a quarter of the reported crashes occurred on I-5 (29 non-injury crashes; five injury crashes).
OSP troopers reported 50 DUII arrests, slightly up from 47 DUII arrests reported last year. Twelve of the OSP DUII arrests occurred on I-5.
The HRPD blitz was 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.
According to Hood River Police Chief Neal Holste, most people are aware of the .08 blood alcohol content 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 if 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, ranging from 90 days to three years, depending on your driving record and past DUII offenses.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the following statistics:
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.”
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge