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Statewide effort to reduce drunk driving begins Friday

The Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state in an effort to get drunk drivers off the roads.

Beginning Friday through September 4, officers will be conducting additional patrols to reduce drunk driving on Idaho roads.

This effort comes as Labor Day approaches, marking the end of the summer driving season known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Driving. This term refers to the time between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day when there is a spike in traffic fatalities across the country.

“Drunk driving is a very dangerous behavior and there is no excuse for it,” said ITD Highway Safety Manager John Tomlinson. “We lose too many of our friends and neighbors to these drunk driving crashes.”

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,874 people were killed in drunk driving crashes across the country in 2017. That year, 80 people were killed in impaired driving crashes in Idaho – 28 of those deaths happened during the summer.

“People want to get out and enjoy those last days of summer. Whatever your plans are for the end of summer, please plan to have a sober ride,” Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson had the following recommendations to get home safe:

Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation, a cab, or a ride sharing service to get home safely. Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely. If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.

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