03-16-09 Don't Rely on Luck of the Irish to Keep you Safe St. Patrick's Day; Celebrate Responsibly
Boise, March 16, 2009 - Saint Patrick's Day is widely observed by Americans of all ethnic backgrounds. While it’s a day to celebrate Irish heritage and perhaps enjoy the company of friends, a celebration can take a turn for the worse due to irresponsible alcohol use, like impaired driving or or aggressive, violent behavior.
Boise Police are reminding citizens, don’t rely on the luck of the Irish to keep you safe. Use alcohol responsibly, and designate a sober driver before the party begins - Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.
"We know everyone like's to claim a little bit of Irish on St. Patrick's Day, and out job is to make sure celebrations don't go sour because of irresponsible alcohol use, or behavior that interferes with others safety." 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 St. Patrick's Day, tomorrow night, Tuesday, March 17th, 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.
To prepare for St. Patrick's celebrations, Boise Police have compared calls for police service on typical Tuesdays in March (6:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m.) to calls on St. Patrick's Day last year. 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 St. Patrick's are alcohol related, including fights, disorderly conduct, and possible drunk driving.
2009 St. Patrick's Day, Officers on Duty:
- 8 DUI officers on duty in addition to extra BPD patrol officers, and DUI assistance from Idaho State Police.
- at least 7 officers patrolling on foot and bikes downtown.
2008 St. Patrick's Day Arrests, Calls for Police Service, 6:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m.:
- 8 DUI arrests made by Boise Police (1 on a typical Tuesday in March).
- 23 total arrests made by Boise Police (13 on a typical Tuesday in March).
- 79 Calls for police service (13 on a typical Tuesday in March
Impaired driving has dire consequences. Don’t rely on the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day.
• The tragedies and costs from drunk driving are not limited to death, disfigurement, disability or injury. They also can lead to the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest, which can be very significant.
• People that break the law often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines, court costs, increased insurance rates, car towing, repairs, lost time at work, etc.
fore more on DUI penalties, log onto: http://www.cityofboise.org/Departments/Police/ValleyPatrolDivision/NightSTEP/page5772.aspx
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 at www.boisepolice.org).
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.