'Buzzed driving is drunk driving': Holiday driving tips to keep you safe

'Buzzed driving is drunk driving': Holiday driving tips to keep you safe

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Holidays and parties go hand-in-hand, but too much celebrating sometimes isn't a good thing.

"We do see a slight increase in the amount of crashes that we see," said Oregon State Police Sgt. Chris Ashenfelter.

He said more people on the roads combined with impaired drivers means a busy holiday season for police.

"There will be an increased number of patrols out during certain times of the day and certain times of the weekend."

Between December 31, 2010 and January 1, 2011, troopers made 41 DUII arrests around the state over the New Year's weekend, including 10 out of the OSP Springfield Command Office.

"Being buzzed is being impaired," said Ashenfelter. "If you can feel the effects of the alcohol, you're probably impaired. You don't have to be falling down drunk to be arrested for DUI."

But it's not just drunk drivers that police will be looking for on New Year's Eve. They say anyone that's driving recklessly on the roads in wintry conditions could be pulled over.

"We do have a problem with people thinking that the roads are OK, but going into some of those more obscure areas and getting into crashes cause they're over-driving them."

He said you may have heard it all before but slowing down and taking your time can save your life.
    
And if you do decide to drink on New Year's Eve, "there's a lot of programs out with taxi cabs that allow you to call them and they don't charge you to drive you home if you've been drinking or you're intoxicated."

Police suggest planning ahead if you're going to drink, like designating a sober driver.
    
And if you're hosting a party, offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to help your guests be responsible.