Make good driving choices this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a festive time for many that brings families and friends together, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare when loved ones choose to drive impaired.
Using federal grant funds, ITD is partnering with Idaho law enforcement agencies to make state highways safer by funding education campaigns and high-visibility impaired driving enforcement patrols beginning Saturday (Nov. 20 ) and continuing through Nov. 30.
"The effort is part of Idaho's Toward Zero Deaths' goal to someday have no traffic deaths on Idaho's roads," said Kevin Bechen, with ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety. “Traffic deaths are not just numbers. They are family members and friends lost. We want everyone to make it home safely after holiday celebrations." 
During the campaign, officers will watch for impaired drivers and check for seat belt use.
"If your Thanksgiving celebration involves alcohol, avoid driving any vehicle when 'buzzed' or drunk," said Bechen. "It's not worth the risk, Not only do you risk injuring or killing yourself or someone else, but the financial costs of an arrest or crash are significant.”
A few simple precautions before celebrating can prevent a drunk-driving tragedy:

  • Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
  • If you're impaired, call a taxi, a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers you see on roadways to law enforcement. To contact the Idaho State Police, call *ISP.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take his or her keys and help make other transportation arrangements.

"Your best and only defense against drunk drivers is to always wear a seat belt," Bechen added.

Published 11-19-2010