The holidays are here and while celebrations may look different this year, keeping our communities safe remains a top priority. That is why law enforcement agencies are working together to keep impaired drivers off Idaho roads.
The ITD Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is partnering with 53 law enforcement agencies statewide to increase impaired-driving enforcement and education from Dec. 11 to Jan. 3, 2021, surrounding the holiday season. The statewide campaign is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization.
“Increased messaging at both the state and national level on the dangers of impaired driving, combined with increased enforcement, is part of a joint effort to prevent DUI related crashes,” said OHS Grants Officer Lisa Losness.
In 2019 there were 238 impaired driving crashes that resulted in fatalities and suspected serious injuries, an increase of 27% from 2018. Last year 6% of all crashes involved impaired driving but resulted in 44% of all crash-related fatalities.
“The consequences of driving impaired tend to be severe,” said OHS Manager John Tomlinson. “It is a serious crime that puts Idahoans at risk every single day, and it is absolutely preventable.”
The consequences of a single DUI conviction for a first-time offender in Idaho can include costly fines, court costs, legal fees, jail time, and license suspension.
“We ask all Idahoans to please drive safely this holiday season,” reiterated Tomlinson. “We want everyone to make it home safely, so please designate a sober driver.”
What can you do?
- Plan your safe ride home before you leave
- If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel
- If you drink, do not drive. Call a taxi, a ride-share service, or a sober friend
- Always buckle up – it’s your best defense against impaired drivers
If you see an impaired driver on the road, call *477(*ISP) or call 911. Your actions could help save someone’s life.
Funding for extra traffic patrols is provided by a grant from OHS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.