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Drive sober or get pulled over: Idaho, other states increase patrols over holidays

Local

IDAHO FALLS — Idaho State Police and other troopers across the western United States are urging drivers to buckle up and drive safe and sober this New Year’s Eve weekend.

“We can remind our loved ones to drive sober, drive at safe speeds, put the phone down and buckle up. If we can each do these things for ourselves, more families will stay safe and whole,” said Col. Kedrick Wills, director of the Idaho State Police, in a news release on Wednesday.

The effort is being made by the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition to keep people safe on the roadways and prevent DUI-related injuries. The coalition includes 12 agencies like the Montana Highway Patrol, Washington State Patrol, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Idaho State Police and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

“We appreciate our partner agencies who work together to keep dangerous drivers off our roads. Coming together across state borders strengthens the message that that DUI-related fatalities and injuries are preventable, and impaired driving is not acceptable,” said Wills.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety and Idaho State Police, between Jan. 1, and Dec. 15, troopers with the Idaho State Police have located 1,453 drivers who were charged with impaired driving-related criminal offenses.

RELATED | DUI patrols will increase for the holidays starting Friday

“As strong and dedicated as this unified effort is from law enforcement, support from our communities is essential. We each can make a difference by making safe driving habits a priority for ourselves and our friends and family,” said Wills.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety and Idaho State Police, last year over New Year’s weekend, between Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, and Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, Idaho State Police troopers arrested 52 people who were charged with driving under the influence.

ISP continues to be part of a statewide law enforcement effort to provide extra DUI patrols between Dec. 17 and New Year’s Eve weekend.

“There (are) so many outlets on making arrangements to drive. Make your plans early. Have a plan in place before going out and celebrating the holidays so you don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to make that decision,” said ISP Lt. Marvin Crain in Idaho Falls.

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