Thursday, December 17, 2015

Treasure Valley Law Enforcement Unite to Stop Impaired Driving This Holiday Season

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

For Immediate Release: 12/17/15 at 6:05 p.m.

MERIDIAN - Law enforcement officers from across the Treasure Valley are teaming up to stop impaired driving this holiday season. The Boise, Caldwell and Nampa Police Departments and the Idaho State Police, as part of the Treasure Valley DUI Task Force, are joining together to enforce impaired driving laws through the holiday season. Just as important as enforcement action is raising the public's awareness of the dangers of driving after drinking too much, using illegal substances or even taking over the counter or prescription medication.

"Whether you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prescription or illicit, the message is the same, don't get behind the wheel," said Idaho State Police Cpl. Kenny Walker. "The holidays are a time to bring family and friends together in celebration and, unfortunately, we see all too often families destroyed by a car crash when the driver should not have been driving."

In 2014, there were 1,378 impaired driving crashes in Idaho. Out of those incidents, 72 people lost their lives and 227 were seriously injured. Almost 39% of all fatalities on Idaho's roads and highways were the result of impaired driving.

Additional funding for impaired driving emphasis patrols by law enforcement between December 18th and January 6th is provided by the Idaho Department of Transportation's Office of Highway Safety.

In cooperation with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the officers and troopers who will be on patrol in the Treasure Valley on Saturday night will hear from a survivor of an impaired driving crash during the kick-off of the night.

You can easily avoid a becoming a DUI statistic but you must PLAN AHEAD.

- PLAN not drink and drive before you start drinking. Alcohol impairs a person's ability to determine if they should drive. You can't count on making the right decision after you've consumed alcohol!
- Designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
- Plan to call a taxi, a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
- Offer non-alcoholic beverages when entertaining.
- Promptly report drunk drivers to 9-1-1 or *ISP (*477) on your mobile phone.
- Wear your seat belt. This is the best defense against an impaired driver.
- Friends don't let friends drive drunk or impaired. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their car keys and make other safe travel arrangements to get them home, or offer a spare bedroom or sofa to "sleep it off."