Thursday, December 16, 2021

ISP joins a statewide effort to increase DUI Patrols as traffic deaths on Idaho roadways are at a 15-year high.

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

700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian, ID 83642

For Immediate Release: 12/16/21 1:25 P.M.
ISP Public Affairs Office (208)884-7122

Traffic Deaths on Idaho Roadways are at a 15-year high.
To Keep Families Whole, ISP joins a statewide effort to
increase DUI Patrols over the holidays

Troopers with the Idaho State Police are joining law enforcement agencies throughout the state this holiday with increased patrols to remove DUI drivers from Idaho roadways. The effort comes at a time when many celebrations often include alcohol, and traffic fatalities across Idaho are at a 15-year high according to the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety.

"Putting others at risk with dangerous driving behavior is simply not acceptable. ISP Troopers join our partner agencies and our communities in having zero tolerance for impaired driving," said Sgt. Justin Scotch of the Idaho State Police District 1 DUI Team based in Coeur d'Alene.

"When holiday celebrations include alcohol, we need folks to think and plan ahead for a safe, sober ride home. A trip with a rideshare, taxi, or designated driver is a lot better than a trip to jail." Said Sgt. Scotch.

Idaho State Police DUI efforts will increase statewide beginning Friday, December 17, and through New Year's Eve weekend. DUI education and enforcement is intended to keep families safe and whole every day, including through this holiday season.

- Traffic fatalities in Idaho are at a 15-year high. So far this year, ITD OHS reports at least 254 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That compares to 195 traffic fatalities through this date last year, and the most fatalities in a single year since 2006.

- Between 2016 and 2020, 36% of all fatal crashes in Idaho were related to impaired driving, according to the ITD OHS.

- Between January 1, and December 15, 2021, Troopers with the Idaho State Police have located and charged 1,453 drivers with impaired driving-related criminal offenses.

ISP Troopers appreciate the support of partner agencies and are exceptionally grateful for community support, including volunteers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"We are aware that behind every fatal crash is a family who will forever feel broken by the loss of a loved one. As crash investigators, we talk with those families and many volunteers with MADD are families who continue to feel those losses," said Sgt. Curt Sproat of the Idaho State Police District 3 DUI Team based in Meridian.

"Together as a community, we need to make safe, sober driving the standard in this great state."

What can you do?
- Talk with friends and family about the importance of driving sober and, as a passenger, never getting into a vehicle with a driver who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Plan your safe ride home before alcohol clouds your judgment;
- Choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver;
- Arrange for a ride share service or taxi.
- If you're hosting a party where alcohol will be served, serve non-alcoholic beverage options.
- If someone you know is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and help with arrangements to get them a safe ride.
- Always wear your seat belt - it's your best defense against impaired drivers.
- If you see what could be an impaired driver on the road, call *477(*ISP) or call 911. Your actions could save a life.

Funding for extra DUI patrols is provided by a grant from the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thank you to these agencies for supporting ISP's efforts to keep Idaho's roadways safe.