DUI crash victims share emotional stories, extra emphasis patrols on now

DUI crash victims share emotional stories, extra emphasis patrols on now
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The Fourth of July is a celebration of our nation’s independence which means a lot of food, fireworks and fun. For Idaho State Police, the holiday also means more drunk drivers on the road.

Beginning Wednesday night and running through the weekend, more eyes will be watching for drivers who risk other people’s lives and their own when they get behind the wheel after drinking.

Ryan Allen was riding his bike in 1991 when he was hit by a drunk driver.

“It put him in a wheelchair at age 11,” said Patricia Allen, Ryan’s mother.

Ryan suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent three months in a coma. He and his family were never the same, but they tried to make life as normal as possible. Then, last March, another driver, another bad decision, another tragedy.

“The car had the four of us in it, my husband, myself, our oldest son and Ryan in his chair,” Allen said. “He hit us so hard that Ryan was ejected out.”

Instead of suffering in silence, Ryan’s family is making his story and their pain very public — hoping to change minds when it comes to drinking and driving.

“It’s not an accident, it’s a choice,” Allen said.

Her family’s story is one of many that inspire members of the North Idaho DUI Taskforce. 22 extra troopers, deputies and officers will be spread out around north Idaho for the Fourth of July and into the holiday weekend. Alcohol and drug impairment is the leading cause of fatal crashes in the state.

“We have zero tolerance, and so they will be going to jail,” said ISP District 1 Commander John Kempf. “Just for the Idaho State Police, over the same weekend last year, we had over 20 DUI arrests.”

ISP is asking for the public’s help. If you suspect someone is driving under the influence, dial *ISP (*477) or 911 immediately. Washington drivers are asked to call 911.

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