Law enforcement in ID, WA ramping up DUI patrols this holiday season

St. Patrick’s Day by the numbers
75%: Percentage of fatal St. Patrick’s Day holiday car crashes that involved a drunken driver

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Don’t drive drunk this holiday season. Or ever, for that matter. 

Law enforcement agencies across Idaho and Washington are ramping up their efforts to stop drunk drivers this holiday season. 

The efforts come as many have celebrations that include alcohol and possibly drugs. 

The patrols also come as DUI traffic deaths are on the rise in both Idaho and Washington. 

The Idaho State Police said traffic deaths are at a 15-year high. Meantime, 2020 was one of the deadliest years for Washingtonians because of DUI-related crashes, despite fewer drivers being on the road. Preliminary data for 2021 also indicates an increase in deaths this year from DUIs. 

“Putting others at risk with dangerous driving behavior is simply not acceptable. ISP Troopers join our partner agencies and our communities in having zero tolerance for impaired driving,” Sgt. Justin Scotch said. “When holiday celebrations include alcohol, we need folks to think and plan ahead for a safe, sober ride home. A trip with rideshare, taxi, or designated driver is a lot better than a trip to jail.” 

ISP’s DUI patrols will increase statewide starting Friday. They will continue through New Year’s Eve weekend. 

Washington Law enforcement began their patrols on December 15. 

READ: Wrong-way driver sentenced to 10 years for deadly crash

RELATED: SPD officer injured in suspected DUI crash while responding to infant medical emergency