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Clackamas County hopes to use national event to keep roads safer during holiday

FILE PHOTO - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 9,967 people were victims of crashes caused by impaired drivers in 2014.The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office will be recognizing National Impaired Driving Month now through Tuesday, Jan. 3, by increasing the number of officers on the road watching for impaired drivers.

According to a press release, patrol officers will be striving to identify and detain those driving under the influence of intoxicants. Aim of the enhanced enforcement is to take impaired drivers off the road and decrease the chances of related accidents "in the hope that no family's holiday season will be devastated by the loss of a loved one due to an impaired driver."

The office also cited statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, saying that 9,967 people were victims of crashes caused by impaired drivers in 2014 alone, meaning every 53 minutes there was at least one alcohol-impaired traffic fatality and that nationally, impaired driving made up 31 percent of traffic fatalities that year.

Officers also urged caution when celebrating over the holiday weekend, adding, "The men and women of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office would like to remind citizens across Oregon, that everyone can play a role in preventing impaired drivers. If you or those around you drink alcohol and/or consume other impairing substances, such as marijuana, please make responsible transportation plans. If you witness impaired driving, don't hesitate to report it to your local authorities; it may save a life. Please enjoy your time with friends and family this upcoming holiday."

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