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Patrol nabs drunk drivers

Eight drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol were nabbed Friday in Ashland and Talent as a part of a coordinated patrol by six law enforcement agencies targeting drunken drivers.

Disturbed by a trio of alcohol-related traffic accidents in the past two weeks, Ashland Police Officer Theron Hull organized the saturation patrol throughout Ashland and along Highway 99 north through the city of Talent.

“Alcohol impairment is the primary factor in traffic fatalities,” Theron said in a statement.

None of the three alcohol-related accidents in Ashland were fatal, but three people were sent to the hospital and four vehicles were totaled, according to an Ashland police press release.

Under state law, the blood alcohol limit is 0.08, but a driver can be impaired with a lesser blood alcohol content, said Ashland Police Officer Teri DeSilva.

“You have to know your own body,” DeSilva said. “People metabolize alcohol differently, and height and weight can influence how much alcohol affects you. It’s not fair to say you can have two drinks, and you’ll be fine because everyone is different.”

In addition to Ashland police, Talent police, Phoenix police, Medford police, Oregon State Police and Jackson County sheriff’s department joined in on the operation. A total of 13 officers arrested eight drivers who were allegedly impaired, issued 20 citations for traffic and drug violations and initiated 82 traffic stops.