law enforcement agencies will step up impaired driving patrols this
ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety is providing money statewide for the Idaho's law enforcement agencies to conduct overtime patrols searching for and arresting drunk or impaired drivers from Dec. 16 through New Year’s Day. Last year, 110 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Idaho.
“It is estimated that each fatality caused by impaired driving costs Idahoans as much as $3 million,” said Kevin Bechen with ITD. “The toll that impaired or drunk driving fatalities take on families is truly heartbreaking, particularly during the holiday season.”
Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher is illegal in Idaho. Driving skills start to deteriorate around .05 BAC.
Law enforcement officers will take a driver’s license on the spot if a driver is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). For a first offense, the license is lost for 90 days following failed evidentiary testing, or one year if the test is refused – in addition to other penalties that will be imposed for a DUI offense.
Money for the overtime patrol effort is supplied through a federal grant administered by ITD, Bechen said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers several tips to prevent drinking and driving.
“Saving lives on our roads is a top priority and we need everyone’s help to do it,” Bechen said.
“This holiday season don’t let your year end in an arrest—or even worse, death. Make smart decisions.”
“Whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk,” he said. “Think before you choose to drink. Don’t end up spending your money on bail, court, lawyers and towing fees instead of buying holiday presents for and spending time with loved ones. That’s a bad way to end the year.”