Impaired Driving Patrols to increase this week, July 4th

State Trooper Vehicle stopping traffic. Wyotoday.com photo by Ernie Over

This Independence Day weekend, Fremont County law enforcement will be out in force as part of an impaired driving enforcement operation. Starting Thursday, July 2, and continuing through Sunday, July 5, additional officers, deputies and troopers will be on duty. Fremont County law enforcement is dedicated to protecting lives, and you will see increased enforcement on the roads and zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent (10,511) of motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2018. In 2018 alone, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4 holiday period. Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in drunk driving crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38 percent of the July 4 holiday period fatalities occurred in drunk driving crashes.

In Fremont County during the July 4 period of 2019 (6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday) there were three alcohol-involved cashes, one of which resulted in injury.

“It’s a shame that we have to repeat ourselves, but our message remains the same: Drunk driving is deadly and illegal,” said Chief Chris Konijasho of the Shoshoni Police Department. “We want our community safe, and make no mistake, if we catch you driving drunk or impaired, you will be arrested, because driving under the influence of any substance will land you in jail.”

Fremont County law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

·         Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation, taxi or a ride sharing service to get home safely.

·         If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact Fremont County law enforcement or dial 911.

·         Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and plan to get your friend home safely.