Police car on the street

Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be spending more time on the road this holiday season to keep an eye out for impaired drivers.

A news release stated the sheriff’s office is participating in a national effort to crack down on impaired driving in conjunction with a White House declaration for National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” mobilization runs through Jan. 3.

The Idaho Transportation Department is providing grant money to allow law enforcement to patrol overtime and specifically target impaired drivers. According to the release, 292 drunk drivers were arrested across Idaho during last year’s efforts to curb impaired driving. Sgt. Bryan Lovell said 40 law enforcement offices across the state are participating in the program.

An estimated average of 10,000 people die nationwide each year from accidents caused by drunk driving.

“That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors,” the release stated. “In December 2017, alone, 885 people across the country lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver. This is why the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with other Law Enforcement agencies across Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind our motorists that drunk driving in not only illegal, it’s a matter of life or death.”

The sheriff’s office recommends planning ahead before drinking during the holidays and have a designated driver. Impaired driving can also be caused by prescription and illegal drug use.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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