A coalition of partners gathered Monday to stand in solidarity against driving impaired this holiday season. Too frequently, members of our community are negatively impacted by the poor decisions others make to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Participating in the event were Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland Police Assistant Chief Chris Davis, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Oregon State Police, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, TriMet, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Starting this week, there will be extra patrols focused on impaired driving. The Oregon State Police is providing a DUII trailer that contains breath test machines and personnel who can reduce the time it takes to process DUII arrests. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office will also be providing personnel and transportation to streamline the booking process. This team effort will enhance our collective ability to process DUII arrests most efficiently. That allows officers to spend more time patrolling.
But the bottom line is that police would rather not make arrests this holiday season. They hope that community members will choose to drive sober. If you are going to drink alcohol or if you are going to use anything that might affect your ability to drive safely, make another plan for getting around besides driving.
There are countless heartbreaking stories of loss attributed to driving impaired. Officers are on the front lines of this issue and see it all too often. PPB Sergeant Nick Newby recently shared a very personal encounter in a public video we have posted on social media.
Public transit is a great option to celebrate safely. TriMet buses and MAX trains, as well as Portland Streetcars, will be free on New Year's Eve after 8 p.m., and MAX will have extended late night service until about 3 a.m. Check schedules at http://trimet.org/ and https://portlandstreetcar.org/.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and the Portland Bureau of Transportation are expanding the Safe Ride Home program in tandem with this additional holiday enforcement.
With the Safe Ride Home program, you can save up to $20 on a taxi ride, and $10 on an Uber or Lyft ride. This year, we have expanded the program to offer discounts from Dec. 18 through Jan. 1.
Visit https://www.SafeRideHomePdx.com for all the details, and please share the information with your community. PBOT will also have Facebook and Twitter posts, as well as public service announcements and electronic message signs posted on some high crash corridors, urging people to drive safely and reminding everyone to check the SafeRideHomePdx.com website for details.