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Law & Justice

AAA Idaho Urges Drivers Exercise Restraint New Year's Eve

Jonathan Cohen

New Years is synonymous with champagne and parties. Ahead of Tuesday night’s myriad celebrations, AAA is reminding drivers to be mindful of how much of the festivities they partake in.

Have a good time, but be sensible. That’s the message from AAA Idaho’s Matthew Conde.

“Celebrating is great and obviously everyone understands that that’s part of it, but I think we all can accept the stigma around drunk driving,” the AAA spokesman says.

For party-hopping or getting home safe, Conde suggests using ridesharing apps. Of course, if you’re part of a bigger group, picking a few people to be designated drivers is also an option.

Should someone get pulled over while driving impaired, a new Idaho law set to go on the books January 1 introduces a new penalty. Previously, only repeat DUI offenders had to have a device installed in their vehicle to determine if they’d been drinking.

“Now it’s an all-offender law,” Conde says. “So if somebody doesn’t pass the roadside test and they’re driving under the influence, there’s going to be that consequence of having that tracking tool in your car that’s going to prevent you from driving drunk again.”

A positive to the new law is that it forces people to examine their relationship with alcohol, Conde says. However, he recommends individuals be responsible and recognize it’s unacceptable to drive while intoxicated.

A first time DUI offense in Idaho can carry a penalty of up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and a license suspension of up to 180 days.

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