Extra Patrols Aim to Keep Impaired Drivers off Boise Streets
Boise, Dec. 16, 2011 - Boise Police will join officers from around Idaho and the nation in working overtime to keep impaired drivers off our roadways.
Last year, impaired driving contributed to 1,593 crashes on Idaho’s highways and caused 96 fatalities. Statistics show one in four crashes during the holidays involves alcohol.
“We respond to these crashes. We see the consequences, and then we see the families and communities grieving with the loss and struggling to answer, ‘why’” said Corporal Casey Hancuff of the Boise Police Night STEP Team, the DUI enforcement unit.
“Our hope is people will plan ahead and use a taxi or sober designated driver. If not, we’ll be out there with no tolerance for impaired drivers.” Said Corporal Hancuff.
Using federal grant funds, the Idaho Transportation Department partners with local law enforcement agencies like Boise PD to make highways safer by funding education campaigns and high-visibility impaired driving enforcement patrols from Dec. 17 through New Year’s Day.
The effort is part of Idaho’s Toward Zero Deaths goal to someday have no traffic deaths on Idaho’s roads.
“Traffic deaths are not just numbers, they are family and friends lost,” said Kevin Bechen, with ITD’s Office of Highway Safety. “We want everyone to make it home safely after holiday celebrations. We're committed to doing everything we can to help keep families safe and whole.”
While all law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho will be enforcing drunk-driving laws, ITD reports 65 agencies including Idaho State Police, sheriff’s deputies and local agencies will participate in the overtime patrols.
"Whether you've had one or two drinks, or way too many, it's not worth the risk to you or your family," he said. "Not only do you risk injuring or killing yourself or someone else, but the financial costs of an arrest or crash are significant." Said Bechen.
ITD and Boise Police offer these tips to make holiday party season safer:
- Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before you begin drinking and give that person your keys.
- If you are impaired, call a taxi or sober friend or family member to get you home safely. Many taxi services offer free or discounted rides to partygoers during the holiday season.
- Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement by calling 911. To contact the Idaho State Police, call *ISP.
- Wear your safety belt while in your car or use a helmet and protective gear when on a motorcycle. These are the best defenses against an impaired driver.
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take his or her keys and help make other safe travel arrangements.