Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Education Campaign and Impaired Driving Enforcement Patrols

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer

Region 4 Patrol 218 West Yakima, Jerome, ID 83338-5904 (208) 324-6000
Fax (208) 324-7897

Contact: Lt. Kevin Haight
Idaho State Police

Date: 12/16/2010


ITD, ISP Troopers Partner To Stop Impaired Driving December 17 - January 3

Christmas and New Year's is a festive time for many that brings families and friends together, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare when loved ones choose to drive impaired.

Using federal grant funds, the Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with the Idaho State Police to make state highways safer by funding education campaigns and high-visibility impaired driving enforcement patrols from December 16 through January 3.

"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 members and friends lost," said Kevin Bechen, with ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety. "We want everyone to make it home safely after holiday celebrations."

During the campaign, officers will be watching for impaired drivers. They also will check for seat belt use.

"If your holiday celebrations involve alcohol, avoid driving any vehicle when 'buzzed' or drunk," said Lt. Kevin Haight. "It's not worth the risk. Not only do you risk injuring or killing yourself or someone else, but the financial costs of an arrest or crash are significant," he explained.

In 2009, there were 12,327 DUI arrests in Idaho, resulting in 65 fatalities. 29% of all Idaho fatalities were the result of an impaired driving crash and 77% of those killed were not restrained.

- Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
- If you're impaired, call a taxi, a sober friend or a family member to get you home safely.
- Promptly report drunk drivers you see on roadways to law enforcement. To contact the Idaho State Police, call *ISP or (208)736-3070.
- If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take his or her keys and help make other transportation arrangements.

"Your best and only defense against drunk drivers is to always wear a seat belt and remain attentive to your surroundings and other drivers," Lt. Haight said.