Troopers with the Idaho State Police and Washington State Patrol want drivers to know that extra patrols are out in force now through Labor Day focused on finding DUI drivers.
In 2019, DUI fatalities increased by nearly 27% across Idaho, according to the ITD Office of Highway Safety. So, the goal of the extra patrols is to increase safety on area roadways by reducing the number of DUI related crashes.
"We know strong enforcement of impaired driving laws is a major factor in reducing DUI related deaths," said Idaho State Police Trooper Scott Bolen. "It's tough to tell what all we prevent, but we know families are together today because of strong DUI enforcement and that's why we do it."
Because driving impaired continues to be a behavior that causes serious and fatal crashes,officers are proud to be part of a statewide education and enforcement campaign meant to keep families and visitors safe on the roadways as the busy summer travel season comes to a close.
More stats on the deadly impact of driving impaired:
- Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the US involve drunk drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA);
- In 2018, 10,511 people were killed in DUI crashes; that's one person every 50 minutes, according to data from NHTSA.
During the 2017 Labor Day Holiday period (data from NHTSA):
- 37% of drivers who died were drunk at the time of the crash;
- 45% of drivers 21 to 34 years old who died were drunk at the time of the crash;
- 79% of drunk-driving fatalities occurred at night.
What can you do?
Being a responsible driver is simple: if you are drinking, do not drive:
- Plan your safe ride home before you start the party, choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver;
- If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home;
- If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, a ride-hailing service, or a sober friend;
- If you're hosting a party where alcohol will be served, serve non-alcoholic beverage options and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver; and
- Always wear your seat belt - it's your best defense against impaired drivers.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, call *477(*ISP) or call 911. Your actions could help save someone's life.
Funding for extra traffic patrols in Idaho is provided by a grant from the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.