ISP conducting DUI emphasis patrols through the holiday season

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Idaho State Police is running emphasis patrols through the holiday season, making sure that no impaired or unsafe drivers are out on the roads the next few weeks.

Beginning Monday, the increased patrols include specially-trained Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), who will help identify and substantiate charges against impaired drivers.

“The holiday season should be a time of year when people can spend time with family and friends. We want to keep our roadways safe so everyone can enjoy the holidays,” said Major Gardiner of the Idaho State Police. “We’re working to stop impaired driving crashes from affecting any more Idaho families.”

In their announcement of the emphasis patrols, Idaho State Police cited haunting statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reporting that over 800 people died from crashes involving impaired drivers last December – and from Christmas to New Year’s Day, just a week’s time, nearly 300 fatal crashes occurred due to impaired drivers.

According to Idaho State Police, impaired drivers are a notably serious problem in Idaho, citing that in 2018:

33 percent of all fatalities were caused by an impaired driving crash
6 percent of all Idaho crashes involve an impaired driver
From 2017-2018, impaired driving arrests increased 8 percent
Drivers aged 18-39 are the likeliest to be involved in an impaired driving crash
The economic cost of these crashes is estimated at $1 billion per year

The statistics are disheartening, but there is one important caveat to it all.

“Crashes caused by impaired drivers are 100% preventable,” said Major Gardiner. “Driving impaired by any substance, drugs, or alcohol, is illegal and can be deadly. There’s no excuse for people to choose to drive impaired. It’s not worth the risk to yourself or others.”

Idaho State Police urges everyone to have designated sober drivers, or use public transportation or taxi services. Additionally, always report an impaired driver to authorities – you will be preventing something far worse from happening.

Emphasis patrols will be carried out through New Year’s Day, and will include ISP Troopers in all of their districts.