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Gresham police to increase patrols against DUII drivers

Summer campaign will also educate public on Safety Belt laws -

PMG FILE PHOTO - Greham PD has made more than 221 arrests for DUII since January.The Gresham Police Department is partnering with safety groups to provide increased patrols searching for DUII drivers and enforcing Safety Belt laws, in an effort to continue the ongoing traffic safety campaign.

Drivers can expect to see enhanced enforcement during the summer months and Labor Day weekend, along with other special events identified with DUII problems. The goal of the increased patrols is to save lives by removing impaired drivers from the roads and educating people of the importance of wearing seat belts.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is providing funding for the enhanced safety focus, while the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Impact will help with education and enforcement.

In the past six months, Gresham officers issued 207 citations for safety belt and child restraint offenses. Since January, they made more than 221 arrests for driving under the influence.

Children riding either unrestrained or in the wrong type of safety restraint for their size are often killed in traffic accidents. Data shows that as children get older, they are less likely to buckle up, the NHTSA says. In the past five years 1,552 kids between the ages of eight and 14 died in car, SUV and van crashes across the nation. Almost half of those who perished were unbelted.

Gresham police say drunk, or impaired, driving is not an accident. It is a deliberate action taken by an individual that puts many at risk. They recommend several methods to avoid impaired driving, like stopping alcohol service before the end of the event, assisting guests with overnight lodging or calling for cab service, choosing designated drivers, and serving food to lessen the effects of alcohol.

The department also recommends reporting impaired drivers by calling 911.