EUGENE, Ore. — In 2011, nearly 100 people died in drunk-driving crashes in Oregon, but a local police officer is being credited for his efforts cutting down those numbers.
Several police officers in the Willamette Valley were recently honored for their work enforcing DUII. One officers say there are still things that to be done to stop drunk driving.
Officer Ryan Stone was recently named a DUII enforcement officer of the year.
According to Stone, Oregon has some of the most impressive programs for recognizing impaired drivers.
One of the reasons he was honored was his comprehensive plan to be proactive in reducing drunk drivers taking the wheel. For him, stopping impaired driving is a complex process that requires more than simply adding checkpoints.
“If we can find other strategies that we can help with treatment providers and with education programs to try and keep people from getting into that bad situation, then that’s better for me any day of the week,” Stone said.
And perhaps those strategies are coming at a crucial time. EPD says that 2012 saw a 63 percent increase in DUII arrests from the previous year, which could be partly due to increased enforcement efforts.
Officer Stone says that impaired driving doesn’t just come from alcohol use, but some people are unaware of the effects of some prescription medications leading to impaired driving.