July 4, 2008 in City

Hitch in your giddyap? Maybe hitch a ride instead

The Spokesman-Review

A Hayden resident with a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 probably decided it was better to walk home than to drive March 12 in Coeur d’Alene. Little good it did him.

Police issued the man a misdemeanor citation for being a pedestrian under the influence, or drunk on a roadway.

Idaho law allows for such a thing.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Lt. Dan Soumas, of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. “We can’t have you stumbling into traffic.”

In Washington, a person has to interfere with traffic for police to issue a $56 ticket. If officers find someone stumbling home, they can also pick them up and take them to a detox center.

Last year in Kootenai County, 13 people received citations for being drunk or under the influence of drugs while on foot. Two tickets, including the Hayden pedestrian’s, have been issued this year.

In Spokane, police routinely cite people for disorderly conduct, but that doesn’t specify that a person has to be drunk.

Instead of attempting to walk home, Spokane police Officer Teresa Fuller encouraged people who’ve had too much to drink to “get a ride.”

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