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Labor day weekend expect to see more state patrol

by EMILY BONSANT
Hagadone News Network | September 2, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT— Idaho State Police Troopers will continue with extra patrols through the Labor Day weekend as part of a statewide education and enforcement campaign to prevent impaired driving.

"Caring enough about yourself and others means planning not to drive impaired," said ISP Lt. Marvin Crane. "Putting others at risk with dangerous driving behavior is not acceptable in our communities and we're doing all we can with both education and enforcement to help keep Idahoans safe."

Ponderay Police Chief Jimmy Cornelius said that while the department will not be adding more officers on patrol during the weekend, drivers should be careful anytime they are on the road. Cornelius urged drivers to be cautious driving at all times whether on poorly light roads, low light conditions, poor weather and, of course, to drive sober.

In Ponderay there have been more DUIs due to the end of summer and influx of population, said Cornelius, which is to be expected.

According to Idaho crash data, impaired driving was the cause of 1,513 crashes in Idaho last year with 92 people killed as a result of those impaired driving crashes. Hundreds more were injured, said ISP.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety, number-one and two most cited contributing circumstances for crashes that injured, but not killed, is distracted driving and failing to yield and following too closely.

"We are urging people who use alcohol or other impairing substances to plan ahead and not get behind the wheel, '' said Crane “Most folks actually make the right choice, and that's appreciated. But for those who don't, troopers are on the roads looking for them before they hurt themselves or someone else."

ISP joins more than 60 local law enforcement agencies around the state, and the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety in this final push to end the summer travel season safely.

Troopers with the ISP are on patrol all day every day to keep impaired drivers off the roadways and to enforce laws designed to educate motorists on safe driving behavior.

This high visibility DUI education and enforcement campaign began Aug. 20 and coincides with the close of the summer driving season known as the 100 Deadliest Days, said ISP officials.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, Idaho typically sees an increase in fatality and injury crashes, ISP officials said.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety, highway fatalities have increased in 2021.

Highway fatalities through Sunday, Aug. 29:

2021- 159

2020 - 142

100 Deadliest Days

2021 - 77

2020 - 75

Anyone can prevent impaired driving. Here's how:

  • Plan for a safe, sober ride;
  • Choose a sober friend as a designated driver.
  • Arrange for a ride share service or taxi.
  • If you're hosting an event where alcohol will be served, serve non-alcoholic beverage options and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • Always wear your seatbelt - it's your best defense against impaired drivers.
  • If you see what could be an impaired driver on the road, call 477 (ISP) or call 911. Your actions could save a life.

Additional patrols are funded by a grant from the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

ISP wants to thank these agencies for supporting the ISP’s efforts to keep Idaho’s roadways safe.

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