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Police join forces to stop holiday DUIIs

The St. Helens Police Department released a statement Tuesday, Nov. 19, explaining local law enforcement’s plan to take extra steps in stopping drunk drivers during the holidays.

The holidays typically mark a period in which the number of intoxicated drivers increases, the statement reads. To crack down on impaired drivers, St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss announced a plan for Columbia County law enforcement agencies to participate in a holiday enforcement campaign. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, police officers from the cities of St. Helens, Vernonia, Rainier and Clatskanie, as well as deputies from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, will be aggressively seeking out drunk drivers.

“Impaired driving has become increasingly dangerous in Columbia County during the holiday season,” Moss said. “That’s why we’re joining forces with other Columbia County law enforcement agencies to crack down on impaired drivers.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as 10,000 Americans die each year in alcohol-related crashes. In the SHPD’s efforts to reduce those statistics, Columbia County law enforcement agencies offer the following tips:

n If you are planning to drink, volunteer to be a designated driver, designate a sober driver or arrange for a taxi to pick you up at a set time.

n If you are hosting a party, offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and help your guests be responsible. Don’t let someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel.

n Wear bright clothes to help you stand out if you are walking or bicycling after dark.

n Buckle up and drive defensively at all times.

SHPD also encourages citizens to immediately report dangerous and intoxicated drivers in Columbia County by dailing 503-397-1521 or 911.