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Happy New Year! Drinking and drugs are on January's agenda

Winter weather tips

Now that winter is upon us, we can anticipate rain as well as some icy days and even snow. So when walking or driving, be more alert and aware of the possibility of slippery streets and sidewalks, reduced visibility and nasty weather.

To assist when out in poor conditions, here are a few helpful hints:

When walking:

-- Stay on the walkways;

-- Avoid crossing the street between cars;

-- Dress for the conditions, including proper footwear and gloves;

-- At night wear something reflective or light colored.

When driving:

-- Prior to starting out, clear your windshield, the back window and the mirrors of any snow or ice;

-- Even with snow or studded tires, give yourself a little extra distance between you and the vehicle ahead to allow for breaking;

-- Be alert for walkers and others on the side of the street as well as people crossing the street;

-- When starting from a stop, accelerate gradually;

-- Obey the speed limit and wear your seatbelt;

-- If traveling some distance, carry an emergency kit, a blanket, a cell phone and even an extra snack, in case you get stuck or are stranded for a while until help arrives.

Celebrations, drinking and driving

During the holiday season, often many of us attend or host holiday parties. Often such events have alcoholic beverages available, so it is important a guest has a preselected designated driver, and if one is a host/hostess, it is important to make sure that guests do not overindulge.

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) offers the following advice for a host or hostess that helps assure that the guests have a good and safe time:

-- Never serve alcoholic beverages to underage persons;

-- Don't let guests mix drinks (designate a reliable "bartender" to assist in tracking consumption);

-- If a guest is drinking a lot, offer a non-alcoholic refill;

-- Do not push drinks - drinking is not necessary for a good time;

-- Make sure guests and the host stay within their limits;

-- Shut down the drinking at least an hour prior to the end of the party by serving coffee and dessert;

-- If a guest has overindulged, arrange for a ride home with a sober guest, call a taxi or invite the quest to stay over.

Make all your celebrations safe and sane during this holiday season and all year long.

Medication and drug drop-offs

Recently several residents have dropped off outdated prescriptions and over-the-counter medications at King City City Hall for disposal. Disposing of outdated medications is encouraged by the King City Police Department as one way of preventing addictive materials from getting into the wrong hands.

A question often asked is, "Where do I drop off unwanted medications?" Periodically, the Drug Enforcement Administration in conjunction with a local law enforcement agency will have a Prescription Drug Turn-n Day similar to the one the Washington County Sheriff's Office hosted recently in Aloha.

However, there is now a year-round solution available. The Oregon High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program has installed drug take-back drop boxes in various locations.

In Washington County, boxes may be found in the following locations: the lobby of the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Hillsboro (call for available times), at the Sherwood Police Department and at the Beaverton Police Department.

Citizens can utilize the boxes for prescription medications, all over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments and liquid medications in leak-proof containers.

These resources provide an alternative for medication disposal.

For any questions regarding this disposal, call the police department.

Until next time, be good, be neighborly and be safe.