Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Once again, thousands of Oregonians join millions across the country planning to gather and watch America’s most popular sporting event, the Super Bowl, on Sunday, Feb. 3.
Joining those who are making their plans, law enforcement and traffic safety partners are also planning and urging everyone not to let drunk driving ruin their plans.
Federal, state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials are joining together to spread an important safety message about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday: “Fans don’t let fans drive drunk.”
Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and ODOT urge fans to join their team by not making critical mistakes that affect you and others on Oregon roads.
“Avoid the penalties by choosing a sober designated driver before the drinking starts or handing off your keys so that you and others on our road can safely arrive home,” said Captain Ted Phillips, director of the OSP Patrol Services Division.
According to NHTSA, Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the nation’s most dangerous days on the road due to impaired driving. Forty-eight percent of fatalities nationwide on Super Bowl Sunday involve a driver or motorcycle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher. In addition in 2010, alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was almost twice as high during the weekend (31 percent) than during weekdays (16 percent) and four times higher at night (37 percent) than during the day (9 percent).
Last year, three people died on Oregon roads during Super Bowl weekend. Over the last six years on Super Bowl weekend, 14 people have died in traffic crashes on Oregon roads.
The following three-year statistics reflect DUII arrests by OSP troopers and traffic fatalities reported between 12:01 a.m. Saturday through 5:59 a.m. Monday, during the previous six Super Bowl weekends:
n 2012 — Three traffic fatalities; 38 DUII arrests
n 2011 — Two traffic fatalities; 59 DUII arrests
n 2010 — No traffic fatalities; 58 DUII arrests
Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, ODOT and MADD stress that designating a sober driver should be on the top of everyone’s Super Bowl party list. Report possible intoxicated drivers to 9-1-1 or Oregon State Police dispatch at 800-243-7856.
If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:
n Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers before kick-off or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
n Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
n Determine ahead of time when you’ll stop serving alcohol, such as one hour before the party ends or at the end of the third quarter (just like NFL stadiums) and begin serving coffee and dessert.
n Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.
n Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.
n Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:
n Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
n Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself — eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
n If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
n Use your community’s sober ride programs.
n Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.
OSP says, “Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk, and always buckle up — it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers.”
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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