With more people expected to be traveling on Idaho roadways this Labor Day holiday weekend, law enforcement will conduct saturation patrols to crack down on drunk drivers.
"Our message is simple - you drink, you drive, you lose," says Kevin Bechen, ITD Office of Traffic & Highway Safety. "We encourage anyone who plans to drink alcohol to be responsible and designate a sober driver. With roving patrols and concerned citizens, chances are if you drive impaired this holiday, you will be arrested."
While the enforcement campaign focuses on drunk drivers, officers also will watch for drivers impaired by drugs. Impaired driving is one of Americas most-often-committed and deadliest crimes. Last year, 103 people died in collisions in Idaho involving a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs.
"In Idaho, driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 and above is illegal. And if you are under 21, the BAC threshold is even lower," Bechen said. "Violators could be spending money on bail, court, lawyers and towing fees instead of on the last days of their summer vacations. Even if you refuse a sobriety test you can still lose your license."
Law enforcement efforts are reinforced by messages aimed at putting drivers on notice about the consequences of being caught driving drunk. The public education campaign began Aug. 10 and continues through Sept. 11.
Bechen reminds everyone to plan ahead. "If you find it hard to figure out if you've had too much alcohol to drive don't risk it. Most likely if you're feeling buzzed, you're impaired - and if you drive, law enforcement will be out in force to catch you."
The transportation department reminds everyone:
Always buckle up it is your best defense against an impaired driver.The You Drink, You Drive, You Lose national campaign, first launched in December 1999, is a comprehensive impaired-driving prevention effort focused on conducting highly visible law-enforcement-related efforts to deter impaired driving. For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org