Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Law Enforcement in the Magic Valley Targets Impaired Driving With Enhanced Patrols for the July 4th Holiday

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

For Immediate Release: 6/29/16 at 3:25 p.m.

JEROME - While Idahoans will celebrate their independence over the July 4th weekend, law enforcement in the Magic Valley will be teaming up to target 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 enhanced patrols will last through July 6th 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, law enforcement 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 2015, there were 25 crashes in Idaho where alcohol was involved. Of these 25 crashes, 11 of them involved injuries and three people lost their lives.

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

- 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.


Law enforcement will kick-off the impaired driving emphasis patrols with a joint training 9:00 am at the Idaho State Police District 4 Office located at 218 West Yakima in Jerome.

Jared Olson, Idaho Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, will provide a brief legal update to law enforcement from 9:00 to 10:30 am. Beginning at 10:30 am there will be interview and photograph opportunities with the multiple participating Magic Valley law enforcement agencies.