02-23-09 Celebrate Safely for Mardi Gras!
Boise, Feb. 23, 2009 - Boise Police are reminding folks to celebrate safely during tomorrow night's Mardi Gras events.
"We want to keep people safe, and we know that alcohol is often a big part of people's Mardi Gras celebrations," said Lt. Doug Schoenborn of the Boise Police Department. "We want to let people know that they can celebrate and have fun, but to plan ahead to use a cab or a designated driver if they're going to use alcohol. We also urge people to play it smart and don't drink to excess where they put their own and others safety at risk."
Enforcement: In celebration of Mardi Gras, tomorrow night, Tuesday, Feb 24th, large crowds are expected downtown and other popular night spots around the city. Boise Police will have extra officers on duty for a Tuesday. BPD staffing will be equivalent to a typical weekend night. That means officers will be on patrol, both on foot downtown and on the streets, in an effort to reduce fights and drunk driving.
Boise Police have compared calls for police service on typical Tuesdays in February (6:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m.) to calls on Mardi Gras nights 2007 and 2008. The study found a considerable increase in calls from a typical Tuesday, rising to the level of a busy Friday or Saturday night. Many of the calls police receive on Mardi Gras are alcohol related, including fights, disorderly conduct, and possible drunk driving.
2009 Mardi Gras:
- 8 DUI officers on duty in addition to extra patrol officers.
- at least 7 officers patrolling on foot and bikes downtown.
2008 Mardi Gras:
- 12 DUI arrests made by Boise Police.
- 33 total arrests made by Boise Police.
Education: Boise Police are also working on an education campaign in cooperation with Crime Stoppers and local businesses, including Jackson's food stores and Lamar Outdoor Advertising, to remind citizens of the dangers and consequences of underage drinking (see new release issued Feb. 20th copied below).
Prevention: Boise Police urge citizens if they plan to meet friends at a club or attend a private party, if you plan on drinking, don’t drive. If you notice your friend is showing signs of impairment, don’t let him or her get behind the wheel.
• Plan a safe way home before your celebrations begin;
• If you plan to get a ride home with someone else, designate a sober driver before any drinking begins;
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, or call a sober friend or family member to get home safely;
• If you see a possible drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1;
Boise February 20th, 2009 - Boise Police are teaming up with local stores and advertisers to help curb underage drinking.
Starting this weekend posters will begin going up in area Jackson's convenience stores and state liquor stores urging citizens to report underage drinking. In addition, digital billboards will be seen around the greater Boise area for one week with the same message thanks in part to Lamar Advertising. The billboards and posters are part of a push leading into spring break that officers hope will encourage young people to think twice before deciding to put themselves and others at risk.
"We want kids, and those who supply them with alcohol, to think about what can happen when you decide to do take that chance. The consequences of underage drinking can be catastrophic financially and physically." said Boise Police Officer Jermaine Galloway. Officer Galloway heads up many of the department's underage alcohol education and enforcement programs. "From DUI's to serious accidents or worse, people need to look at the possible outcome of their decisions."
Penalties for providing alcohol to underage youth:
- A person who sells or furnishes alcohol to an underage youth will face fines between $500 and $1,000 plus up to one year in jail.
Dangers of Underage Drinking:
It's well documented, underage drinking can lead to tragedy. Underage drinking is a factor in the 4 leading causes of death in people ages 10 to 24: motor vehicle crashes, unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.
Underage alcohol use can be prevented. Research shows teens are less likely to drink alcohol when access is difficult, both in the home and in the community, and parents explain that they expect "no use" before age 21 and monitor their children's activities.
Research shows underage youth are less likely to drink and drive when the zero tolerance laws and consequences are publicized and enforced.
For more information on Preventing Underage drinking, go to:
- http://camy.org/ (Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth)