Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ISP Targets Impaired Driving With Enhanced Patrols for July 4th Holiday

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: 07/2/14 at 3:15 p.m.

MERIDIAN - While Idahoans will celebrate their independence over the July 4th weekend, Idaho State Police troopers statewide will be targeting impaired drivers with high-visibility enforcement patrols to ensure everybody gets home safe. The enhanced patrols are possible through funding from the Idaho Department of Transportation's Office of Highway Safety.

The mobilization began on June 29th and lasts through July 7th with the goal to first remind the public that law enforcement has a zero tolerance for drunk driving and, then, if the message is not heeded, to make arrests.

During the campaign, troopers will be watching for impaired drivers, as well as seat belt use. "Avoid driving any vehicle when 'buzzed,' drunk, or under the influence of drugs," says Idaho State Police Lt. Robert Rausch. He explains, "Make this holiday memorable in a positive way, not by injuring or killing somebody else or yourself."

Over the July 4th holiday weekend in 2013, there were 31 crashes in Idaho where alcohol was involved. Of these 31 crashes, 19 of them involved injuries and two people lost their lives.

The solution to stop these tragedies is simple:

- Plan ahead and 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 mobile phone at *ISP (*477) or simply dial 9-1-1.

For all motorists on the roadways, "Your best defense against drunk drivers is to always buckle up and pay attention to your surroundings and other drivers," Lt. Rausch said.

ISP also reminds motorists of other driving safety tips during the busy holiday weekend:

- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
- Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel.
- Plan for the heat. Make sure your car is prepared for high temperatures and that you have water to drink if you should be stranded.
- Have patience with other drivers.
- Buckle up!