Oregon State Police (OSP) reported preliminary statistics this morning following the completion of the 16th "Operation Trucker Check", a 72-hour around-the-clock interagency focused on removing impaired truck drivers and unsafe commercial vehicles from Oregon's roads. Of the 463 inspections, more than 1-in-10 vehicles and 20 percent of drivers were placed out of service for equipment and driver-related safety violations at the southbound Interstate 5 Woodburn Port of Entry.

"Operation Trucker Check 16" began 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, April 7th, and concluded 11:59 p.m. April 9th, involving a team of law enforcement officers and ODOT commercial vehicle inspectors targeting driver impairments related to alcohol, drugs, or fatigue, and vehicle equipment safety. First held in 1998 at the Interstate 5 Ashland Port of Entry, the trucker check operations have been held at targeted locations in Oregon each year.

OSP Sergeant Dave MacKenzie reported a total of 463 commercial vehicles were inspected, of which 53 (11.4 %) were placed out of service for critical safety violations. Ninety-three (20 %) drivers were also placed out of service for assorted safety violations including excessive driving hours, log book deficiencies, and driver qualification issues. Officers and inspectors issued 42 motor carrier-related citations and 367 warnings.

"The 16th interagency operation was highly successful and busy," said MacKenzie. "So many drivers were placed out of service that we had to relay these drivers away from the port of entry to local truck stops a minimum of three times each day."

During the last "Operation Trucker Check 15" held September 23 - 25, 2008, at the Highway 97 Klamath Falls Port of Entry, 9 percent of the vehicles and eleven percent of the drivers were placed out-of-service. At the previous "Operation Trucker Check 14" held at the westbound Interstate 84 Farewell Bend Port of Entry, 12 percent of vehicles and fourteen percent of drivers were placed out of service.

In addition to this operation's commercial vehicle inspections, citations and warnings, officers also reported:

* One driver arrested after he found in possession of methamphetamine, hydrocodone tablets, alcohol, a handgun, and a Tazer
* One person was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana plants, hashish, and a false urine test kit
* One person cited after being found in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and a false urine test kit
* DREs contacted 362 drivers being inspected; conducted 148 impaired driving assessments, and made five DUII arrests
* Four drivers were cited for Driving While Suspended
* Four drivers were cited for Unlawful Possession of Alcohol in a Commercial Vehicle
* Drug detection canines conducted 74 consent vehicle searches

The Oregon State Police (OSP) and ODOT were joined by Drug Recognition Experts from OSP and the following agencies:

* Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
* Washington County Sheriff's Office
* Portland Police Bureau
* Woodburn Police Department
* Beaverton Police Department
* Aurora Police Department

ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division notes on their Web site statistics that inspections last year found critical safety violations in 28 percent of vehicles and 19 percent of drivers.

For more information, please contact:
Sally Ridenour
(503) 986-3359