The Portland Police have a full plate when it comes to enforcing law and order. Unfortunately, some claim that recent law enforcement trends, such as the crackdown on problems with homelessness in the city, put the overall health and safety of residents at risk. A decline in drunk driving arrests seems to indicate a shift in priorities. Drunk driving victim advocates warn that this can have disastrous effects and point to statistics as to why more aggressive action is warranted.
Portland’s Drop in Drunk Driving Arrests
Over the recent labor day weekend, the Portland Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office joined forces with six other Oregon law enforcement agencies in an effort to crack down on drunk drivers. An August 2018 report by KATU 2 News states that the two-day event targeted the holiday weekend as it is one of the most dangerous of the year for fatal drunk driving accidents. While these one-time events help, more consistent efforts are needed to keep drunk drivers off the road.
Reports issued by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission show that drunk driving arrests have been on a steady decline in the Portland area over the last decade. Records from the Task Force on Public Safety show more than 1,000 motorists were charged with DUI in Multnomah County over the course of 2011, a number that dropped by more than half in 2016. This news comes at a time when DUI-related accidents continue to surge. According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), in more than half of the traffic deaths that occur in our area each year, drunk driving is a main contributing factor.
DUI Victim’s Family Urges Police to Take Action
A September 2018 report in the Willamette Week points to these statistics and claims that police officers admit they are not watching for drunk drivers as closely as they did in the past. The problem, law enforcement officials claim, is that there are fewer officers being put on the streets to monitor motorists and reckless driving behaviors.
The officers that are available are increasingly busy handling nuisance calls and complaints about the rapidly growing homeless issue in our area. Unfortunately, the end result leaves drivers in general at an increased risk. Kristi Finney-Dunn is a board member for Vision Zero, which is the city approved plan to eliminate highway traffic deaths by the year 2025. Finney-Dunn is also a strong advocate for tough traffic laws and even tougher enforcement efforts. Her son was killed by a hit and run driver in 2011. She says that while enforcing traffic laws may not seem as important as cleaning up other areas of the city, it can prevent people from becoming either murderers or victims.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you or someone you love is injured in a DUI-related car accident, the Johnston Law Firm is here to help you get justice. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland DUI accident attorneys online to request a consultation today.