Local first responders

Pictured, from left, are paramedics Trish Robinson and Michelle Rico, Fire chief Terry Leighton and fireman Jared Gammage, Trey Jensen from Lienkamper Funeral Chapel, Malheur County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Tony Lopez, and from Ontario Police Department Officers Danielle Llamas, Sam D’Addabbo and Lieutenant Jason Cooper. A big thank you to everyone else who made this project possible-photographer Dallas Brockett, DFC co-chairs Doug Hezeltine and Jennifer Schaffer, OPD Chief Steven Romero and Lifeways Prevention department Judi Trask and Paula Olvera.

ONTARIO — Local safety personnel recently volunteered their time to work with Malheur County Drug Free Communities Coalition to put up a billboard with an anti-intoxicated driving message.

Watch for this billboard, which will go up in Ontario later this month.

Annually, about 31% of highway deaths in Oregon are attributed to drunk driving. But alcohol is not the only problem. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 12.8 million people (in the United States) aged 16 and over drove under the influence of illicit drugs. The survey also showed that men are more likely to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol than women are.

The highest percentage of adults who drive under the influence are in the age range of 21-25 years old. However intoxicated driver’s are found in all age ranges.

Alcohol, marijuana, prescriptions and illicit drugs all affect a person’s ability to drive. Combining these substances increases the risk even more.

Our message is simple — if you are under the influence of any substance — don’t drive!

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