Drunk driving in the United States is nearly an epidemic. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 29.1 million people have admitted to driving drunk at one time or another in their life, which is more than the population of Texas. 23.1% of those people are between the ages of 21 to 25 years old, and the average drunk driver has driven while intoxicated upwards of 80 times before being arrested. Even scarier stats: every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving-related accident; and, as of 2013, someone is killed every 52 minutes by a drunk driver.
So, where does Oregon stand in all of this? Aside from a 19.3% increase in drunk driving-related deaths from last year, according to MADD.org, Oregon is making improvements in the state drunk driving laws, which in turn is causing a decrease in DUII arrests, and an overall drop in death tolls. So, how are some Oregon counties stacking up to the state records? Here are three that are working towards lowering their DUII arrest rates and making the entire state a safer place to drive:
Multnomah County is the most populous county in Oregon, because it houses Oregon’s largest city, Portland. A steadily-increasing population means additional drivers on the roads, some making very poor decisions when it comes to drinking and driving. But, aside from a spike in DUII arrests in 2004 (4,171), Multnomah County has seen a nice decrease in drunk driving arrests, averaging about 3,200 per year between 1998 and 2008.
Washington County, Oregon, is the second-most populous county in the state, boasting 529,710 people as of the 2010 census. Of those 529,710 people, around 2,700 were arrested in 2008 on DUII charges, the third most of the ten year period that spans the DUII Data Book (oregon.gov/ODOT). This was the same year that the state of Oregon as a whole saw a 1.1% decrease in DUII arrests.
Clackamas is the third-largest county in Oregon, and with a 50,000 person increase in population over ten years, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office has seen a 2,200 DUII arrest increase over that same amount of time. The lowest number of arrests took place in the year 2000; the highest, in 2002.
Though statistics are never fun and sometimes hard to read, it is important that everyone in every state know the reality of the drunk driving situation in and around the areas in which they live. A proactive and staunch approach to drinking and driving (each a separate activity) will make everyone’s lives happier and safer, no matter where they live.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUII in the state of Oregon, contact Portland DUI/DUII lawyer Andy Green.