SHPD offers tips for holiday season

Along with the holiday season comes a predictable increase in the number of intoxicated drivers on public roads.

To crack down on impaired drivers, St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss is reminding residents of an ongoing plan for Columbia County law enforcement agencies to participate in a high visibility enforcement campaign. Over the New Year holiday, police officers from the cities of St. Helens, Rainier, Clatskanie and Vernonia, as well as deputies from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, will be aggressively seeking out drunk drivers.

“A fatal Christmas Eve accident not far from here is a reminder of how important these operations are,” said Moss in a statement, referring to a head-on collision along Northwest Cornelius Pass Road that killed a Scappoose man Tuesday, Dec. 24, in which police have said alcohol may have played a role. “Keeping intoxicated drivers off the road and saving lives is what we are trying to do.”

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

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

• Be responsible. 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.

• If you are walking or riding a bicycle after dark, wear bright clothes to help you stand out.

• Buckle up, every trip, every time.

• Drive defensively at all times.

Many intoxicated drivers are arrested because of a tip from a fellow motorist. The St. Helens Police Department is asking local drivers immediately report, dangerous, and intoxicated motorists in Columbia County by calling 503-397-1521 or 911.

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