Friday, June 28, 2013

ISP partners with ITD and local law enforcement to stop impaired driving June 29th through July 12th

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

Teresa Baker
Public Information Officer
Headquarters 700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian 83642
(208) 884-7122
Fax (208) 884-7087

For Immediate Release: 06/29/13 at 2:00 p.m.

MERIDIAN - The Idaho State Police is partnering with the Idaho Transportation Department and local law enforcement agencies statewide to make highways safer with high-visibility impaired driving enforcement patrols from June 29th through July 12th. Using federal grant funds, these agencies are first seeking to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving and, then, if the message is not heeded, to make arrests.

"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.

During the campaign, officers will be watching for impaired drivers. They also will check for seat belt use. "Avoid driving any vehicle when 'buzzed' or drunk," says Idaho State Police Sgt. Michael Wendler. He explains, "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."

In 2012, there were 9,686 DUI arrests in Idaho and there were 73 fatalities resulting from impaired driving. In addition, there were 1,454 impaired driving crashes and 39.5% of all fatalities on Idaho's roads in 2012 were the result of impaired driving!

The solution to stop these tragedies is simple.

- Designate a sober driver before drinking and give them your keys.
- If you are impaired, call a taxi, a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
- If you go to a bar, check with the employees, many bars have programs to give patrons a free ride home.
- If a friend is about to drive impaired, take his or her keys and help make other transportation arrangements.
- Promptly report suspected drunk drivers you see on roadways to law enforcement. Call the Idaho State Police on your cell phone at *ISP (*477) or simply dial 9-1-1.

For all on the roadways, "Your best defense against drunk drivers is to always wear a seat belt and remain attentive to your surroundings and other drivers," Sgt. Wendler said.


For on-camera interviews or a ride-along, please contact our District Offices:

District 1 - Coeur d?Alene
Lt. Chris Schenck
615 W. Wilbur, Ste. A
Coeur d?Alene, ID 83815

District 2 - Lewiston
Lt. Allen Oswald
2700 North & South Highway
Lewiston, ID

District 3 - Meridian
Lt. Brad Doty
700 S. Stratford Dr.
Meridian, ID

District 4 - Jerome
Sgt. Mike Wendler
218 West Yakima
Jerome, ID

District 5 - Pocatello
Capt. Eric Daley
5205 South 5th
Pocatello, ID

District 6 - Idaho Falls
Lt. Chris Weadick
Idaho State Police
1540 Foote Dr.
Idaho Falls, ID