Celebrating the Green? Turn loose of car keys
Don’t rely on good luck if you choose to drive impaired this St. Patrick’s Day, cautions the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). Law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho will be out in force to catch and arrest impaired drivers beginning Sunday and continuing through March 22.
ITD reminds all those who plan on celebrating to make the right choice and drink responsibly.
“St. Patrick’s Day is a big night out for many Americans – especially young adults,” said Kevin Bechen with ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety. “Driving while impaired puts everyone on the roads at risk, so if you choose to drink, don’t drive.”
Bechen encourages partygoers to make the right choice and plan a safe way home before any festivities begin.
For a safer St. Patrick’s Day, Bechen offers a few simple reminders:
Whenever alcohol will be consumed, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person vehicle keys.
If impaired, call a taxi, sober friend or family member to get home safely.
Use available sober rides programs.
Promptly report drunk drivers seen on roadways to law enforcement.
Wear a seat belt. It is the only defense in a crash caused by an impaired driver.
“Driving any vehicle – including a motorcycle – when ‘buzzed’ or drunk is wrong and not worth the risk,” he said. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving are significant."
Violators face jail time, loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, unpaid time away from work and many other expenses, Bechen said.
See a graphic reminder of the campaign