If you’re looking to see bright red and blue colors this Fourth of July weekend, hope it’s not a police officer behind your car.
McMinnville Police Department has scheduled a saturation patrol for this weekend.
“It’s a major weekend,” said Police Lt. Mark Mara. “We will be trying to curb people’s bad driving habits and catch individuals who are driving impaired in order to make the roads safer for everyone. To do that, we have to stop people who are driving in an unsafe manner.”
Independence Day, a day we celebrate with fireworks and cookouts, is also a day that includes alcohol. Thanks to drunk driving, July 4 is the deadliest day of the year on the roads, according to driving statistics.
Mara is asking the public to take an active role in keeping the roads safe.
“If you see a vehicle being operated in an unsafe manner, call 668-7000 or 911,” said Mara. “A lot of people don’t know it, but we can stop drivers based on a call alone. If they pull into a business, call anyway. There’s a good chance they will drive again and we want to prevent that if they are intoxicated.”
Dairy Queen of McMinnville is participating in the patrols by providing ice cream coupons to give away to children who are properly restrained and to individuals who are designated drivers.
Officers will be actively pursuing impaired drivers by patrolling the streets and conducting traffic stops. Mara says, if stopped, the best way to prove you are not intoxicated is to agree to a sobriety test.
“The way to show us you are not impaired is to submit to a sobriety test,” he said. “We work closely with the DA’s office and we have a drug recognition expert on standby as well. If we suspect you are intoxicated and you refuse to submit to a sobriety test, we will take the steps necessary to get a blood sample.”