Boise Police made 18 DUI arrests over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, as part of a statewide campaign that funded additional patrols. Among those arrested in Boise between Thursday and Sunday: One driver who hit a parked van Friday evening, then took off, leaving a trail of fluid, and crashed into some bushes; witnesses to the collision with the van called police, who followed the trail of fluid to the extremely intoxicated driver. Another driver was arrested for felony DUI after getting on the freeway without his lights on early Saturday morning; he had two previous offenses, making this one a felony. The 18 arrests were up from 13 during the same holiday period last year and 15 the year before, but Boise Police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said overall, DUI arrests have been trending downward in Boise in recent years. “Hopefully it’s an anomaly,” she said. “The officers are going to be out there.”
The arrests came as part of a statewide crackdown on impaired driving, funded by grant funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; 62 local police and sheriff’s departments participated in the Thanksgiving holiday mobilization, which is one of five held each year, and received $75,000 in grants for additional officer overtime to allow more patrols on the roads. Kevin Bechen, impaired driving program manager for ITD’s Office of Highway Safety, said, “It was a busy weekend.” He doesn’t have statewide stats in yet, but said the holidays tend to bring out impaired drivers. The next statewide mobilization, for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period, starts Dec. 20.