Local police bust 15 for DUII on New Year's: 'It's a little disheartening'
EUGENE, Ore. -- The New Year's holiday patrol kept officers busy in the Eugene/Springfield area with 15 driving under the influence arrests and dozens of other citations issued to partiers through the evening hours.
While responding to dispute and loud noise violation calls, the Springfield Police Department said their officers kept a watchful eye on drivers. From December 31 to the early morning of January 1 Springfield Police arrested 8 people for DUII, cited 5 more for driving with a suspended license and issued numerous other traffic citations.
"Our guys were busy," said Springfield Police Field Traffic Officer Shawn Monson. "13 DUII arrests in the last 48 hours, which is a very high number."
Revelers also kept Eugene police busy through the night. EPD officials reported that their officers handled 7 DUII investigations.
"After decades of public information on intoxicated driving, to continue to see the number of drunk drivers that we see, it's a little disheartening," said Eugene Police Lieutenant Scott Fellman.
Officials reported that a couple of the investigations resulted in additional charges.
A driver hit a pedestrian at around 3:20 a.m. Monday near the intersection of 8th and Olive Street, Eugene Police officials said. The driver reportedly fled the scene; emergency responders transported the pedestrian to the hospital.
After a short search police found the suspect driver, 23-year-old Traesha Cooks, parked near the intersection of 11th and Lincoln Street. Police arrested Cooks for hit and run-person, DUII, assault II & III and reckless driving.
In another DUII investigation, officers said they found that a pedestrian had kicked an intoxicated male driver to the ground after the man got out of his truck near the Broadway Plaza. Officers responded to Broadway and Willamette St. to find the driver, 54-year-old Roy Wall, intoxicated and lying on the ground.
Witnesses told police that Wall had been revving his truck and peeling out while driving between intersections on Broadway. A passerby hit the side mirror of Wall's truck. When he got out of the truck to investigate another pedestrian kicked him in the leg and told him he shouldn't be driving.
Wall was taken to a local hospital before being charged with DUII and driving on a suspended license.
"There's absolutely nothing wrong with celebrations, just do it responsibly," said Monson. "If you're going to drink, have a designated driver - have somebody that can take you home or stay where you're at if you're hosting a party or an event, make sure everybody's got somebody."
The Oregon State Police office in Springfield said their troopers pulled over at least five intoxicated drivers along the I-5 corridor after 10 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said they are waiting for their night officers to get back on duty to issue a full report.
Our reporters reached out to the Lane County Sheriff's Office to find out how their New Year's patrols went. We expect to hear back soon.