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ISP plans enhanced impaired driving patrols for St.Patrick's Day weekend

With St. Patrick's Day celebrations beginning this weekend, the Idaho State Police and local law enforcement agencies are stepping up impaired driving patrols to make sure motorists don't have to rely on luck to make it home safe.

A sober driver is easier to find than a leprechaun, find one before drinking and give them your keys.
Image courtesy of Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

ISP is partnering with the Idaho Transportation Department and local law enforcement agencies statewide to make highways safer with high-visibility impaired driving enforcement patrols from March 15th through March 22nd. Using federal grant funds, these agencies are first seeking to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving and, then, if the message is not heeded, to make arrests.

During the campaign, officers will be watching for impaired drivers and will also check for seat belt use.

"The Idaho State Police wants everyone to enjoy St. Patrick's Day, but we urge people to avoid driving any vehicle when 'buzzed' or drunk," says Idaho State Police Capt. Sheldon Kelley. He explains, "It's not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing or injuring yourself or someone else, but the financial costs of an arrest or crash are significant."

In 2012, nationwide, 91 people died during St.Patrick's Day celebrations because of impaired driving. The solution to stop these tragedies is simple:

  • A sober driver is easier to find than a leprechaun, find one before drinking and give them your keys.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi, a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • If a friend is about to drive impaired, take his or her keys and help make other transportation arrangements.
  • Promptly report suspected drunk drivers you see on roadways to law enforcement. Call the Idaho State Police on your cell at *ISP (*477) or dial 9-1-1.

For all on the roadways, "Your best defense against drunk drivers is to always wear a seat belt and remain attentive to your surroundings and other drivers," Capt. Kelley said.

Spot what you think might be an impaired driver? Use the Idaho State Police REDDI (Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately) hotline. Dial *ISP (*477) from your cell phone anywhere in Idaho.

The Idaho State Police is on Twitter! Follow @IdahoStPolice at: twitter.com