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Saturation patrols set for drunken drivers

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The Lake Oswego Police Department will join thousands of law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation from Friday through the Labor Day holiday to take part in the 'Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest' crackdown on impaired driving.

Drunken driving is one of America's deadliest crimes, according to Lake Oswego Lt. Douglas Treat.

In 2005, nearly 13,000 people died nationwide in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

The picture for motorcycle operators is particularly bad, said Treat. Forty-one percent of the 1,878 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2005 had BAC levels of .08 or higher.

'Make no mistake, no matter what you drive - a passenger car, pickup, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle - if we catch you driving impaired, we will arrest you,' said Treat. 'No exceptions. No excuses. We will be out in force conducting saturation patrols to get more drunk drivers off the road - and save lives that might otherwise be lost.

Driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher is illegal in every state.

'Yet we continue to see far too many people suffer debilitating injuries and loss of their loved ones as a result of impaired driving. This careless disregard for human life must stop. To help en-sure that happens, the Lake Oswego Police De-partment is dedicated to arresting impaired drivers wherever and whenever we find them.

'Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk,' he added. 'Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant.'

Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work and dozens of other expenses.

The national Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. Impaired driving crackdown is a prevention program organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

For more information on the program, visit the transportation department's Web site at www.StopImpairedDriving.org