Law enforcement presence and responsible drinking nixed DUI arrests on New Year’s Eve

Law enforcement presence and responsible drinking nixed DUI arrests on New Year’s Eve »Play Video
One drunk driver was arrested on New Year’s Eve.
LEWISTON, ID - It was a quiet New Year's Eve throughout the region as law enforcement officers report only one DUI arrest.

Reporter Sophia Miraglio tells us about the sudden change in attitude and the necessary steps people are taking to get home safely.

New Years Eve is often synonymous with drinking and driving. However this year that was not the case.

"Last night we arrested one drunk driver," said LPD Corporal Phil Campbell.

"I don't think we made a DUI arrest which is good for us," said Idaho State Police Master Corporal John Ferriss.

Officials said that people are still celebrating, but taking the necessary steps to ensure safety on the roadways.

"We're finding that people are using more cabs, getting designated drivers," said Campbell. "They're just finding a better way home than driving."

But what's prompting this change in attitude?

"I think it's a number of things, certainly it's expensive it's going to cost them ultimately," said Ferriss. "In their pocket book it's going to cost them their freedom and the stigma of being arrested and tried for driving under the influence I think is a strong deterrent too."

"The longer I've been here each year seems to taper off a little bit more and a little bit more," said Campbell. "Between the enforcement actions that they know and our visible presence when we have multiple cars out there making traffic stops, people see us and think twice before they get behind the wheel."

Statistics do show that low DUI totals are common for a New Year's Eve night, statistics that Ferriss said he would like to see throughout the year.

"Serious crashes and fatal crashes don't take a break," said Ferriss.

And while the streets were quiet one thing that has failed to change is the bar scene.

"We responded to several bar fights throughout the town," said Campbell. "It's not uncommon on New year's Eve for people to partake too much and fight."