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Make happy memories, not tragic decisions

by JOSH McDONALD
Local Editor | May 26, 2023 1:00 AM

The population of Shoshone County increases substantially over Memorial Day weekend, and unfortunately, recent history shows that this weekend can have tragic consequences when people are not responsible during their extra days off.

As thousands of people set up their campsites along the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River and in other remote places throughout the Silver Valley, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind locals and vacationers alike to play it safe.

“With the Memorial Day holiday weekend quickly approaching, this time is normally when things begin to pick up for our calls-for-service,” SCSO Captain Jeff Lee told the News-Press. “Our dispatch will begin getting a lot of calls, mainly involving alcohol or drugs. The calls will come in reporting fights, traffic complaints, crashes, and much more.”

Recently, law enforcement in the area has been putting extra emphasis on monitoring the streets and roads in all of the communities – watching carefully for impaired drivers.

This includes along the North Fork area, where the ability to respond to a potential accident is hampered by time and distance.

“The patrol team will be out this weekend looking for impaired drivers with an additional focus on erratic driving and speeding,” Lee said. “The biggest safety reminder is to never drink and drive. If you do plan on partaking in alcohol consumption this weekend, plan a sober driver if you want to travel from campsite to campsite. Another reminder is to always wear your seatbelt when traveling in your vehicle and yes, this does include your side-by-side. If the vehicle you are operating has a safety belt, wear it and wear it properly.”

The SCSO would also like to remind North Fork recreationists parking along Old River Road between Bumblebee Campground and Albert’s Landing that if you park in an area with a solid yellow line, you will receive a citation and/or your vehicle will be towed.

Memorial Day weekend also falls at the same time as some of the Silver Valley’s local high school graduation ceremonies – adding another element to the stark increase in visitors during the extended holiday as family members return home to celebrate the milestone.

“Just like always, we want all of you who live here and vacation here to enjoy your time,” Lee said. “We want families to build happy memories this weekend and throughout this 2023 summer, not tragic memories. Be safe, be smart, and make good decisions.”

If you see someone doing anything dangerous or need to report a suspected drunk driver call the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 556-1114 or dial 911.