Police step up DUI patrols for Thanksgiving


by Justin Corr


Posted on November 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 11:46 PM

MERIDIAN -- Officer Brandon Frasier with Meridian Police is part of a statewide effort to curb intoxicated driving this Thanksgiving holiday.

"Typically, we do see an increase that time of year," said Frasier.

Thanks to a grant from the Idaho Department of Transportation, agencies will be putting more police on the road, specifically looking for impaired drivers. We went on patrol with Frasier to find out more.

"We'll respond to crashes that do take place, whether it be a fender-bender on Eagle Road, where nobody's hurt, or a serious crash on the Interstate," said Frasier. "And [we'll] speak to all the drivers involved, knowing that there's a statistical chance that somebody could be under the influence."

Frasier says people who are under the influence cause 60 percent of the injury crashes on the road.

While on patrol, Frasier was dispatched to a crash in downtown Meridian, where luckily, no one was hurt or intoxicated. In fact, Frasier says, thanks to education campaigns and increased patrols, DUI crashes are dropping.

"Family members of people who have lost their lives in crashes like that, they're not satisfied with decreasing numbers," said Frasier. "They want to see completely eliminated statistics."

Nationally, DUIs from alcohol are also down, DUIs for drugs are up.

Back at the station, a fellow officer brought in a man arrested for DUI. According to the breathalyzer, he had not had anything to drink, but still failed a field sobriety test.

"There's kind of a whole new world opening up, that's a pretty obvious problem," said Frasier.

Police say recently, they did a similar increased DUI patrol in Ada County. They made 22 DUI arrests.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous days for drunk driving deaths. While annual drunk driving deaths have decreased, there has been an increase in the number of deaths around the holidays.