Resolve to make the best holiday decision — don't drive impaired

The holidays are a time for celebration, visiting with loved ones and reflecting on the year past and the year ahead. Yet all too often, the holiday spirit is destroyed by a reckless decision to drive impaired.

ITD and its highway-safety partners remind everyone to make good-driving decisions this holiday season and never drive while impaired.

Idaho law enforcement agencies are conducting education campaigns and high-visibility enforcement patrols searching for drunk or impaired drivers from Dec. 20 through Jan. 3.

“Whether you’ve had one or one too many – drinking and driving is never worth the risk,” said Mary Burke, with ITD’s Office of Highway Safety. “If you are going to drink, designate a sober driver before the party starts and encourage your friends and family to always do the same.”

ITD's Office of Highway Safety is making highway safety funds available to local law enforcement agencies for the additional enforcement efforts to support the safety campaign.

Last year, impaired driving contributed to 1,454 crashes on Idaho's highways and caused 73 fatalities statewide.

"ITD's goal is not one death, because every life counts," Burke said. "We're committed to doing everything we can to help keep families safe and whole."

Burke offered tips to make this holiday safer.

  • If you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before leaving and give that person your keys.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi or sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement.
  • Wear your seat belt while in your car or use a helmet and protective gear when on a motorcycle. These are the best defenses against an impaired driver.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take his or her keys and help make other safe travel arrangements.

“The holidays should be a time for celebration, not tragedy,” Burke said. “Help us achieve Idaho’s Towards Zero Deaths goal of no one dying on a state roadway.”

Published 12-13-13