State police officials say the combination of increased traffic and holiday recreation makes for dangerous roads on Memorial Day weekend. They say the extra patrols are a way to keep the roads safer and also educate drivers.
Agencies like Oregon State Police say, despite the extra units, their presence on the roads still pales in comparison to where it was a decade or two ago. Since the late ’90s, their force on the roads has decreased by about two-thirds.
Despite that, they say this weekend is looking relatively calm. As of Monday morning, they had given out around four drunk driving citations in total. As for whether or not that’s a good thing, officials say that’s subject to interpretation.
“If you’re optimistic, the low number of DUII arrests would mean that everybody’s being safer and that’s great,” said OSP Sergeant Jeff Allison. “If you’re being pessimistic, it means there’s not enough cops out there.”
Troopers say the weather also could have played a factor. They say there’s more temptation to drink and party when it’s warm and sunny.
At this point, there are no official statistics on how many citations were given in total.