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DUI Task Force says park it

| November 25, 2021 1:05 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — You better not drink. You better not try. We're telling you why. The North Idaho DUI Task Force is ready to roll around town.

But it's not packing gifts. It's asking drivers to “Pack the Parking Lots” this Thanksgiving weekend.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Kootenai County are preparing for the increased number of impaired drivers the holiday season brings to North Idaho roadways.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 140 impaired driving-related crashes resulting in seven deaths in Kootenai County last year.

In an effort to encourage impaired drivers to choose not to drive, the North Idaho DUI Task Force and OHS will provide Lyft vouchers to bars throughout Kootenai County, offering $5 off a Lyft ride. The vouchers will be valid Friday and Saturday. Use the code SAFERIDE021.

“During the holiday season the parking lots of local bars and restaurants fill up as more people are out celebrating,” according to a press release. “Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon to see those full parking lots almost empty once bars close.”

The North Idaho DUI Task Force asks drivers to leave their cars parked for the night and find a sober ride home.

“Through ‘Pack the Parking Lots’ local law enforcement agencies hope to see the bar parking lots as full after closing time as they were before closing,” the release said.

Many impaired drivers don’t realize how impaired they actually are, law officers say.

“If you have been drinking, please find a sober way home,” the release said. “Don’t take the chance of hurting someone else on the road, yourself, or risk a DUI this holiday season. “

The North Idaho DUI Task Force is made up of officers from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Idaho State Police, Kootenai County Sheriff Office, Post Falls Police Department, Rathdrum Police Department, Spirit Lake Police Department and Hayden Lake Police Department.