COEUR D'ALENE, ID - Impaired driving is always a focus for Idaho State Police Troopers. For Troopers in North Idaho, the interest is particularly urgent. Since 2013, more than half of the fatal crashes in North Idaho have involved impaired drivers, compared to 20% of fatal crashes nationally were caused by impaired drivers. North Idaho has the worst impaired driving rate in the state.
The Idaho State Police and law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana have begun to increase patrols to identify and remove impaired drivers from the region's roadways. The extra patrols will continue through the holiday season.
During a multi-agency press conference Monday in Coeur d'Alene, Colonel Ked Wills of the Idaho State Police said safety on our roadways is a priority to all of the agencies involved. "We're standing here united to help prevent the pain families suffer when they lose a loved one in a traffic crash. We want families to be together this holiday and many more to come," said Colonel Wills.
To address the problem, ISP and other law enforcement agencies have come together to form the North Idaho DUI Task Force. Their goal is to stop impaired driving crashes and fatalities in Northern Idaho. "The holiday season should be a happy time. We are grateful for our law enforcement partners. We believe working together, our efforts will be more effective and make a difference." Said Colonel Wills.
Idaho State Police reminds the public to designate a sober driver, call a cab, or use a ride-hailing service. Don't let friends get behind the wheel if they're under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you're hosting a party where guests may become impaired, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver. Always wear your seat belt - it's your best defense against impaired drivers.