Several agencies are taking part in the effort to keep drunken drivers off the streets this weekend, including police in Eugene and Springfield and Oregon State Police. And while they’ll be posted everywhere, you can be sure they’ll be enforcing the downtown area and the bars.
Police are hoping to deter impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.
Officers say a similar effort during Super Bowl weekend led to several arrests and zero fatalities, and they’re hoping to prevent even more. They say St. Patrick’s Day is one of the worst holidays when it comes to dealing with these types of stops.
“It’s become kind of a drinking holiday. Folks go out with no purpose other than getting really drunk. There’s not a game associated with it to go watch and take their attention away for a while. It’s just to go out and celebrate and interact with friends and have a good time, and unfortunately it leads to a lot of overuse of the alcohol,” said Officer Ryan Stone, Eugene Police Department.
Officers say aside from the tragic consequences of crashes that can cause injuries and even death, getting caught drunk behind the wheel can mean thousands of dollars dealing with the aftermath.
Police say the best thing you can do for yourself and your friends is to make a plan before you go, have a back-up plan, and don’t rely on your judgement if you’ve been drinking.