By Danielle Craig
MEDFORD, Ore. — The Fourth of July ends without many fireworks for law enforcement. DUII’s were down and Oregon’s roads proved to be the safest they’ve been in decades.
The Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday on Oregon’s roads. But this year, there was not even one deadly accident; that’s the first time that’s happened since 1970. Extra officers were sent out across the state and in Medford to stop drunk drivers. The department brought in two extra officers on overtime for the Fourth of July, and that made all the difference; those two officers are the ones that came across the DUII’s.
Two people were arrested for diving under the influence; one of those arrests came with several other charges after illegal guns were found in the car. Medford Police says the drunk drivers would have likely gone unnoticed if it weren’t for the department’s extra enforcement.
“If we didn’t bring those officers in overtime, those officers normally on duty wouldn’t be able to look for the DUII’s in-between calls,” says Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau. “We just had too many calls for service because we have the Wednesday night staffing combined with the 4th of July celebration.”
In a typical Fourth of July weekend, Medford officers make about 5 to 6 DUII arrests, but last year there was only one DUII. Medford Police the difference between this year and last year is the day the holiday fell on; last year it fell on Monday, which they say may be why there was only one DUII last year.