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DUI Education and Enforcement stretches from Border to Border on New Year's Eve

Members of the Idaho State Police are joining colleagues throughout the Western U.S. in urging drivers to buckle up and drive safe and sober this New Year's Eve. It's a unified effort from the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition (WSTSC) to keep people safe on our roadways and prevent DUI-related injuries.

"The safety of people on our roadways is a priority and this is a unified message from our partner agencies border to border - Slow down! Drive sober and pay attention!" Said Colonel Kedrick Wills, Director of the Idaho State Police. "We appreciate our partner agencies who work together to keep dangerous drivers off our roads. Coming together across state borders strengthens the message that that DUI-related fatalities and injuries are preventable and impaired driving is not acceptable."

The Western States Traffic Safety Coalition includes:

 - Arizona Department of Public Safety

 - California Highway Patrol

 - Colorado State Patrol

 - Idaho State Police

 - Montana Highway Patrol

 - Nevada Highway Patrol

 - North Dakota Highway Patrol

 - Oregon State Police

 - South Dakota Highway Patrol

 - Utah Highway Patrol

 - Washington State Patrol

 - Wyoming Highway Patrol

 

This New Year's Eve emphasis on impaired driving will be the third WSTSC joint initiative in recent years with leaders from each agency working together to make sure that roadways are well covered and state borders pose no drop off in vigilance against unsafe driving.

This effort comes at a time when celebrations often include alcohol, and traffic fatalities across Idaho are at a 15-year high*.

"As strong and dedicated as this unified effort is from law enforcement, support from our communities is essential. We each can make a difference by making safe driving habits a priority for ourselves and our friends and family." Said Colonel Wills. "We can remind our loved ones to drive sober, drive at safe speeds, put the phone down, and buckle up. If we can each do these things for ourselves, more families will stay safe and whole."

 - Last year over New Year's weekend, between Thursday, December 31, 2020, and Sunday, January 3, 2021, Idaho State Police Troopers arrested 52 people charged with driving under the influence.**

  - Traffic fatalities in Idaho are at a 15-year high. As of Dec 16, 2021, the ITD Office of Highway Safety reports at least 254 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That compares to 195 traffic fatalities through the same 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.*

 - In 2020, 43% of all fatalities were the result of an impaired driving crash in Idaho, and only 29% of the vehicle occupants killed in those crashes were wearing a seat belt.*

 - 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. **

                    *Source: Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety

                   **Source: Idaho State Police

ISP continues to be part of a statewide law enforcement effort to provide extra DUI patrols between December 17 and New Year's Eve weekend.

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 efforts to keep Idaho roadways safe.