Portland Car Accident Lawyer at Zbinden & Curtis Weighs In On Sharp Increase in Number of Drunk Driving Fatalities in Oregon

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Portland personal injury lawyer Jon Zbinden, of Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law, cautions Oregon drivers to be aware of increased risk of fatal drunk driving accidents statewide.

To reduce this troubling trend, I urge parents, educators, law enforcement and lawmakers to take aggressive action.

Portland car accident lawyer Jon Zbinden today said more work needs to be done to reduce the growing number of drunk driving fatalities in Oregon. Contrary to the rest of the country, Oregon experienced a dramatic increase in the number of drunk driving fatalities in 2011, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety report in December.

“This is a very serious matter,” said Zbinden, a personal injury attorney in Portland who represents victims of drunk driving crashes. “We’ve seen the devastation of drunk driving accidents first-hand at Zbinden & Curtis. To reduce this troubling trend, I urge parents, educators, law enforcement and lawmakers to take aggressive action. This means talking to young people about the deadly consequences of drunk driving, arresting more drunk drivers and making tough laws to keep intoxicated drivers off the road.”

While the number of drunk driving fatalities nationwide declined by 2.5 percent in 2011, Oregon experienced a 39 percent increase in the number of drunk driving fatalities that same year, according to the NHTS report. In 2011, a total of 9,878 people nationwide died in drunk driving accidents, a decrease of 258 people or 2.5 percent compared to 10,136 deaths in 2010. In Oregon, 97 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2011, an increase of 39 percent or 27 people compared to 70 drunk driving deaths statewide in 2010, according to the NHTS report.
Zbinden said he commends lawmakers for taking action to protect the public. Since these statistics were published, some Oregon legislators have pushed to expand the state’s drunk driving laws, according to The Portland Oregonian. In particular, the newspaper reports that some Oregon lawmakers are considering tightening the law to force repeat drunk driving offenders to install interlock ignition devices that prevent them from driving after drinking.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would expand the types of drugs covered under Oregon's driving under the influence laws, the Oregonian reported.

“These are the types of efforts that could save lives and prevent catastrophic injuries,” Zbinden said. “An interlock ignition device, which is a breathalyzer device that prevents a car from being operated when the driver registers a blood-alcohol level above the minimum limit, is a good ways to keep drunk drivers off our roads. Unfortunately, serious accidents involving drunk drivers still happen every day throughout Oregon and across the country. That’s why people need experienced attorneys to protect their rights. They need someone who can fight for compensation and closure.”

About Zbinden & Curtis
Serving clients throughout Oregon and Washington, personal injury lawyers Zbinden & Curtis work tirelessly for accident victims. Attorneys Jon Zbinden & George Curtis have a strong track record for obtaining large verdicts and settlements for a wide range of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, products liability, slip and fall accidents, dangerous drugs and other cases. Zbinden & Curtis work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing if you don’t win. For more information about what to do after a drunk driving accident and the legal options available to families in Oregon, call (503) 287-5000 or complete the online contact form. The office for Zbinden & Curtis is located at 817 NE Broadway St., Portland, OR 97232.

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Jacob M Del Hagen
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