Responsible celebration during roundup

Happy Fair Week!

Labor Day weekend is the high point of Lake County’s social calendar. Little kids are ready to make themselves sick on carnival rides, older kids are excited and nervous to show their 4-H and FFA projects, and adults are eager to hear great music, peruse the exhibits, indulge in fair food, and watch the rodeo. Fair is a great time to catch up with those people you only seem to run into at the fair, and whether it’s through a class reunion or just a good conversation, much of that catching up happens in the Re-Ride Room or at a local bar.

Outback Strong promotes healthy living, and therefore we urge Lake County to be responsible. If you drink, don’t drive, and please don’t get into a vehicle driven by someone who is intoxicated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drunken drivers kill an average of 29 people each day in the United States — one person every 50 minutes. Twenty-eight percent of all traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2016 were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers.

There were 448 fatal crashes on Oregon roads in 2016, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Alcohol played a role in 1,445 fatal or serious injury crashes between 2009 and 2013, ODOT reports. During that same time, alcohol and/or other drugs were contributing factors in 49 percent of all fatal crashes in the state.

We’ve all heard statistics like these before, and common sense tells us we shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a 1,000-pound machine if we’ve been drinking. But it’s hard to remember common sense when alcohol is affecting the brain. Confused thinking and poor decision-making are classic impacts of alcohol (American Addiction Centers). Moreover, human beings have a great capacity to delude themselves into thinking they’re not impaired. Other people shouldn’t drive, but I can handle it, we tell ourselves.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always true. Drunken driving can lead to arrest, property damage, injury, and sometimes death. Those consequences always affect more than just the person who chose to get behind the wheel.

There are many ways to avoid the temptation to drive drunk this weekend. Arrange for a designated driver ahead of time. Offer to be a designated driver and abstain from alcohol. Call a friend or family member for a ride. Take advantage of free shuttles operating this weekend. Here are a few numbers you can call, as posted on the Lakeview Announcements Facebook page.

  • (707) 655-6909 (Adriana Serianne driving for the Eagles Nest)
  • (541) 417-2849 (Joey Dozier driving the Chamber bus)
  • (541) 539-8903 (Jeff Warburton)
  • (541) 219-2631 (Robin Callaghan)

Have a great time this weekend. The Lake County Fair and Round-up is a wonderful tradition and an important part of our county. It showcases many positive aspects of living Outback Strong, including community support, strong connections between people, creativity on display, and healthy kids and animals. Enjoy the celebration responsibly.