ITD partners with local communities to end impaired driving

ITD recently launched an initiative to end impaired driving in Blackfoot, Lewiston and Twin Falls. The effort, called Courageous Voices, encourages everyone to get involved by stepping up and speaking out to stop people from drinking and driving.

Between 2010 and 2012, more than 40 percent of all fatal vehicle crashes in Idaho involved impaired drivers.

“There are only two choices for people who have been drinking: they can stay where they are or they can ride with someone who has not been drinking,” said ITD Highway Safety Manager Brent Jennings. “And if people decide to drink and drive, then we need to call 911 – for their own safety and the safety of everyone else.”

A recent survey of more than 1,400 people in the three communities revealed that more than nine out of 10 adults strongly agreed that impaired driving is wrong and that most adults (85 percent) do not drive after drinking alcohol. The community survey also showed strong support for a number of strategies proven to reduce impaired driving.

Most adults in the three communities (76 percent) agreed they should try to prevent a stranger from driving after drinking enough alcohol to be impaired; 84 percent agreed that employees at establishments where alcohol is consumed should try to prevent drinking and driving; and, 85 percent strongly agreed that local law enforcement should actively enforce drinking and driving laws.

ITD will work with local coalitions in each of the three communities.

“We have come a long way in addressing drinking and driving; it is time we simply put an end to this very dangerous behavior,” Jennings said.

Published 11-8-13