LEWISTON – As Hot August Nights and 300 vehicles take over downtown Lewiston to wrap up the long summer, the Idaho State Police and local law enforcement partners will have additional DUI emphasis patrols throughout the weekend.
“Our goal is to keep Idaho families and our communities safe,” says Patrol Sergeant Chris Middleton. “We have partnered with local law enforcement to look for impaired drivers and with prosecutors to enforce the law. This is a great event; we want everyone to stay safe. Make the right choice – Designate a sober driver and don’t drive impaired.”
Emphasis patrols begin Thursday night and run through the weekend. ISP has partnered with Lewiston Police Department, Nez Perce Sheriff’s Office, Lewiston City Prosecutor’s Office, and the Nez Perce Prosecutor’s Office to bring more support to the area. Those arrested for suspected DUI will be processed and booked into jail. There will be a “Zero Refusal” policy with law enforcement seeking warrant for blood evidence.
“This community event is one of our favorites. It unites thousands for great music, food, and a spectacular car show. Our troopers work hard preparing the ISP vehicles so we can be part of the community and show our proud history,” said ISP District 2 Captain Richard Adamson. “Despite the festivities, we also know there are increased DUIs over the weekend. Emphasis patrols are designed to keep everyone safe on the roadways. Impaired driving is avoidable, and DUI collisions are preventable. Plan ahead by designating a sober driver, call a taxi, use a ride-share, or ask someone to come get you – just don’t drive. We are passionate because we see the consequences of impaired driving.”
According to NHTSA data, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in 2020, which is a 14% increase from 2019. Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving collisions – that’s one person every 45 minutes. Statewide, Idaho Transportation Department data reveals that impaired driving caused 1,729 crashes last year, 108 deaths, and impaired driving fatalities were almost 40% of all traffic fatalities. Every death and injury is preventable.
It is never okay to drink and drive. Being responsible is simple: If you drink, don’t drive!
– Plan for a safe ride home before you start the party.
– Choose a non-drinking designated driver.
– If someone has been drinking, do not let them drive. Take their keys and save a life.
– If you’re hosting, ensure all guests leave with a sober driver.
– Always wear your seat belt – it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
– If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, a ride-share service, or a sober friend.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to dial 911 or *ISP (*477).