Idaho State Police to increase DUI patrols over the holidays

Posted at 3:01 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 18:42:20-05

Troopers with the Idaho State Police are increasing their DUI patrols over the holidays, according to a press release from ISP on Friday.

The increased statewide police presence begins Dec. 17, and ends on Jan. 3.

ISP said many holiday celebrations include alcohol, and this initiative comes at a time when traffic fatalities are at a 15-year high, according to the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety.

“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. Justin Scotch of the Idaho State Police District 1 DUI Team based in Coeur d’Alene.

So far this year, ITD OHS reports at least 254 people have been killed in traffic crashes in Idaho, compared to 195 traffic fatalities through December 17 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 ITD OHD.

“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. Scotch.

ISP says these efforts will include DUI education and enforcement, which is intended to keep families safe and whole every day through the holiday season.

“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.”

So what can drivers do? ISP says you can take these actions:

  • 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.