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MailTribune.com
  • Authorities make four DUII arrests on Fourth

  • A multi-agency effort to net Jackson County drunken drivers over the Fourth of July holiday turned up more suspended drivers than those under the influence of intoxicants — but that doesn't mean the roads were completely safe, police say.
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  • A multi-agency effort to net Jackson County drunken drivers over the Fourth of July holiday turned up more suspended drivers than those under the influence of intoxicants — but that doesn't mean the roads were completely safe, police say.
    The four arrests for driving under the influence of intoxicants likely were just a sliver of the motorists who slipped behind the wheel after overindulging at civic fireworks displays or house parties on Friday and early Saturday, police said.
    "We went fishing and caught four, but there's a lot of DUII activity out there," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau says. "It's certainly less than expected."
    Medford police were joined by the Oregon State Police, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the police departments in Central Point, Eagle Point, Talent and Butte Falls.
    Along with the four DUII arrests, the officers collectively nabbed five driving while suspended and three uninsured motorists, one drug arrest, one other felony arrest, one arrest on an outstanding warrant and 34 miscellaneous traffic citations — including one safety-belt violation.
    The city of Ashland does not take part in the saturation patrols, largely because of manpower issues, Ashland police Sgt. Bob Smith said.
    Between vacations and patrol presence at the city's morning parade and evening fireworks show, there typically are no extra officers to focus on DUIIs , and no DUII arrests were made in Ashland Friday or Saturday, Smith said.
    Medford police made two more DUII arrests over the past weekend, Budreau says.
    "That's pretty unusual, considering that five or six (DUIIs) is pretty much the average weekend," he says.
    Budreau says the numbers could be low because many people flee the valley during extended Fourth of July weekends to camp and celebrate at mountain lakes.
    "It's not really a night to go to the downtown bars, but there are a lot of house parties where people are drinking and lighting their own fireworks," Budreau says.
    The next multi-agency saturation patrol likely will occur during the Labor Day weekend, Budreau says.
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
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