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Despite Efforts of City Officials, Drunk Driving Accidents Plague Portland

Portland police and city officials have been aggressive in their efforts at apprehending drunk drivers. Increased traffic stops, DUI checkpoints, and public education efforts are all part of the plan to reduce the overall number of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities by 2025. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, it does not seem to be putting a dent in the problem. A recent news report indicates that drunk driving accidents continue to plague the city, claiming the lives of more people each year.  

Drunk Driving Accidents in Portland Continue to Increase

In mid-November 2018, KATU News reported on yet another drunk driving accident, one of several to occur in the city over the past few weeks. The incident involved Jason Barns, a 32-year-old Tigard man who was struck and killed by a drunk driver while collecting cans on North Willamette Boulevard, near the University of Portland campus.

The driver, 23-year-old Calum Breitenberg, faces charges of DUII and second-degree manslaughter. Barnes is the latest of the estimated two people each month who are killed in Portland drunk driving accidents. Hundreds of more drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists suffer serious injuries, which local officials seem helpless to prevent.

More Than 50 Percent of Car Accidents Involve DUI Drivers

According to the report, the continued prevalence of drunk driving is derailing the city’s plans to eliminate traffic deaths citywide by 2025. Under Portland’s Vision Zero plan, the city has taken specific, decisive actions to help prevent these types of accidents, but they seem to be having few to no actual results. Among the efforts that have recently been implemented include:

  • Increasing the number of work-for-hire drivers, such as taxi cabs, and ride-sharing services;
  • Allowing pre-payment for morning parking on city streets, meant to encourage impaired drivers to leave their cars overnight;
  • Increasing funding for drug and alcohol education services;
  • Having officers trained to immediately recognize signs of impairment;
  • Increasing access and referrals to the DUII Intensive Supervision Program (DISP), meant to reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses.

Despite the above precautions, crash reports from the Portland Department of Transportation (PDOT) indicate that more than 50 percent of all traffic fatalities involve drunk drivers.

City officials report that the actual instances of DUI are likely to be even higher. In many cases, drivers who are under the influence often attempt to flee the scene. While hit and run suspects may eventually be caught, by the time they are apprehended it may be hours or even days after the actual collision, meaning that they are no longer legally intoxicated.

Let Us Help You Today

Drunk driving accidents have the potential to result in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. At the Johnston Law Firm, we hold these drivers accountable, so you can get the compensation you deserve. To request a consultation to discuss your car accident and how we can assist you, contact our Portland drunk driving accident attorneys at (503) 546-3167


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.