The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is increasing an impaired driving high-visibility enforcement campaign in conjunction with the St. Patrick's Day holiday, according to a news release. The campaign will continue until Monday.
"St. Patrick's Day is a big night out for many Americans, especially young adults," said Kevin Bechen, a grants/contracts officer 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 is encouraging Idahoans to use a designated driver or call a taxi if they are out driving and to report drunk drivers to local law enforcement.
Read the full news release below.
Don't press your luck this St. Patrick's Day and drive impaired
BOISE - If St. Patrick's Day celebrations include a "wee bit" of spirits, the Idaho Transportation Department reminds motorists to make the right choice to drink responsibly and not drive impaired.
"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."
ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety works to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes by utilizing federal funds to address dangerous driving behaviors. This effort is part of the department's commitment to achieve a goal of zero deaths on Idaho's highways.
Statewide, an impaired driving high-visibility enforcement campaign is underway through March 22.
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.
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