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Patrols increased to prevent drunk driving

By Tatevik Aprikyan
Published On: Dec 31 2012 07:15:19 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 01 2013 12:18:22 AM CST

DUI patrols on the increase during the new year

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The cold weather, slick roads and one of the biggest nights to celebrate can be a dangerous combination.

"You know, our biggest concerns are basically people that are going out having a little bit too much to drink and not getting a ride home," said Sgt. Jeff Edwards with the Bonneville Sheriff's Office.

The Bonneville County Sheriff's Office, Idaho Falls Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols and watching for the signs of impaired drivers.

Staying responsible still means having good time tonight. Many bars and restaurants will be hosting New Year's Eve parties. At the Celt in Idaho Falls, an Irish rock band will be ringing in the new year.

"New Year's is a great, fun holiday, there's nothing wrong with celebrating and having a few drinks," said Liza McGeachin, general manager of the Celt.

The Celt will be among many bars that plans to serve extra water and limit drinks, if needed.

".08 is the impaired driving law in Idaho, and it may be very simple for some. Like two beers, two wine or two whiskey depending on the makeup of their body," said Edwards.

Driving under the influence in Idaho is taken very seriously, and no warning is given for first-time offenders. If driving under the influence, be prepared for a minimum five days jail time, a suspended license and up to a $1,000 fine.

"Just take a taxi; it's not that big of deal. It's going to be a lot more expensive to drive home and get in a wreck or get a DUI," said McGeachin.

"The last thing we want to do is notify a family member someone is passing on this day," said Edwards.

The Yellow Cab taxi company will be offering free rides in Pocatello. In Idaho Falls, taxi companies plan to have extra cabs to get people home safe.

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