Increased drunk driving patrols begin today (Aug. 27)
Beginning this weekend, law enforcement officers in Idaho and across the country will work overtime to take drunk drivers off the roads. The stepped-up patrols are part of the You Drink, You Drive, You Lose! nationwide campaign that runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12.
This is the first coordinated enforcement effort since all 50 states and the District of Columbia passed .08 percent Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) laws for impaired driving. Uniform BAC laws strengthen the hand of law enforcement to arrest and prosecute dangerous drunk drivers to the fullest extent of the law, said Kevin Bechen of the Idaho Transportation Departments Office of Traffic and Highway Safety (OTHS).
Our message is clear you drink, you drive, you lose, Bechen said. Law enforcement officers will devote overtime hours to a DUI crackdown, especially during the Labor Day weekend.
For the first time, the crackdown will take place during the Labor Day period to target the end-of-summer impaired driving problem.
Chances are, if you drive drunk, you will get caught. Dont turn your holiday into a jail stay, he warned.
Refusal of a sobriety test results in loss of a driver license on the spot, Bechen added.
The You Drink, You Drive, You Lose crackdown, which began in 1999, combines highly visible law enforcement with a $14 million national advertising campaign the largest amount of paid media in the campaigns history. Advertisements highlight the law enforcement component that will enforce drunk driving laws during the three-week period.
In Idaho, extra patrols are funded by an OTHS grant using federal highway funds.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies show that nearly 97 percent of Americans view drinking and driving by others as a threat to their families and themselves. Americans support tougher enforcement and rank drunk driving ahead of health care, poverty, the environment and gun control as an important social issue.
In Idaho, 115 people were killed in collisions involving a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol during 2003.
Nationwide, an estimated 17,400 people were killed in
alcohol-related crashes last year, according to NHTSA.
If youre feeling buzzed, you are most likely impaired, Bechen said. He offers the following tips to motorists: