Drunk driving plagues Oregon and Southwest Washington

Impaired driving continues to be a major problem as Oregon sees big jump in number of drunk driving deaths for two consecutive years.

By now people would think that everyone knows driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol is dangerous. It has been many decades since groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving began their efforts to raise awareness about this. Over the years the penalties for drunk driving have even gotten stronger yet somehow there remain many people who refuse to give up their keys if they will be drinking.

How serious is drunk driving in Oregon?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2012, 88 people died in the state of Oregon in crashes involving alcohol. That number rose to 103 the following year and then dropped to 99 in 2014. However, in both 2015 and 2016 the state recorded 154 drunk driving fatalities. This increase is significant and was seen in all three of the Oregon counties spanning the Portland metropolitan region.

How many people die in drunk driving accidents in the Portland metro area?

In the five years from 2012 to 2016, Multnomah County experienced a total of 221 vehicular deaths. Of those, 79 happened in crashes in which alcohol was a noted factor.

In Washington County, 32 out of 113 deaths occurred in wrecks involving drunk drivers. Clackamas County was the location of 146 deaths overall and 50 of those lives were lost in drunk driving accidents.

Across the Columbia River in Clark County, Washington, 40 out of 118 people killed perished at the hands of drunk drivers.

How extensive is the problem in 2018?

A quick perusal of news reports points to the ongoing problem associated with drunk driving in the region. KATU tells of a man who in 2010 had a drunk driving case in which he refused to take a breath test dismissed. The following year he had a charge of driving while under the influence of intoxicants dismissed through the state's diversion program. Just recently he was arrested for suspected DUII with a blood alcohol content of 0.305 percent.

In Vancouver, The Columbian told how one person's leg was broken after being hit by a woman who was later found to have a BAC of 0.276 percent.

An underage drunk driver sent one of her passengers to a hospital via air after losing control of her vehicle according to Oregon Live. Fox 12 reported on the death of two people on a motorcycle who were struck by a drunk driver.

What can people do to stay safe?

Defensive and sober driving is always important but when an accident is unable to be avoided, people in Oregon or Southwest Washington should contact an attorney for help in seeking justice and compensation.