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Oregon's New Alarming Drunk Driving Statistics and Kent's Commitment To Change

As I reflect on the concerning statistics surrounding Oregon's drunk driving rates, I feel compelled to share my stance and the actions I plan to take as a candidate for Deschutes County Sheriff. Our state, ranking fifth-highest in the nation with a score of 86.53 out of 100 for drunk driving rates, faces a serious challenge. The facts are stark:


  • Oregon is the state with the fifth-highest percentage of traffic deaths caused by drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01 to 0.07 (7.85%).

  • The state has the ninth-highest percentage of traffic deaths caused by drunk drivers (35.89%).

  • Oregon has the 11th-highest rate of drunk drivers under age 21 involved in fatal crashes (0.53 per 100,000 licensed drivers).


To make things worse, Highway 97 is very close to being named the deadliest highway in all of Oregon. These numbers are not just statistics; they represent lives lost and families shattered.


As your next Sheriff, I am determined to address this issue head-on. My commitment to the safety and well-being of Deschutes County is unwavering, and I believe that through diligent enforcement of DUII laws and preventive measures, we can make a significant difference. My approach is twofold: to deter potential offenders by ensuring that the consequences of drunk driving are clear and enforced, and to educate our community about the dangers associated with drunk driving.


DUII Training Progam

Enforcement is a critical component of my strategy. I plan to lead our Sheriff's Office in a concerted effort to increase patrols and DUII checks. The presence of law enforcement on our roads serves as a deterrent to those who might consider driving under the influence. However, enforcement alone is not enough. We must also engage in proactive education, reaching out to drivers of all ages to underscore the severe repercussions of DUII offenses — not only the immediate legal consequences but the long-term impact on one's life, including loss of driving privileges, a criminal record, and significantly higher insurance costs.


I have spent the last 7 years teaching and developing a series of impaired driving teen education programs with CLEAR Alliance (clearalliance.org) and instructing Oregon law enforcement officers advanced DUII investigation skills to make our central Oregon community roadways safer.


As someone deeply committed to the safety of our community, I see this challenge as an opportunity to make a real difference. By focusing on both enforcement and education, we can work together to reduce the incidence of drunk driving in our state. This is not just about issuing citations; it's about saving lives and fostering a culture of responsibility and care for one another.


DUII Training Progam

I invite you, the members of our community, to join me in this effort. Together, we can address this critical issue and ensure that Deschutes County becomes a safer place for everyone. With your support, we can transform these troubling statistics into a testament to what we can achieve when we come together for the common good.


Visit VoteVanderKamp.com to learn more about me and my campaign to be your next Deschutes County Sheriff!

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