May 7, 2020
RE: Backcountry alcohol and OHV mobilization
Right now the backcountry areas of Bonneville County are busy with a variety of outdoor activity. Last weekend Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to calls in the Heise and Kepps Crossing area for disturbances, reckless driving and underage drinking that resulted in over 2 dozen citations being issued to people under 21 years of age. Many of these areas are historically prone to emergency rescues and crashes where alcohol and/or drugs were involved and many of these incidents could have been lessened or avoided if safety precautions and responsible behavior had been in place.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly by taking time to plan for safety and responsibly sharing the outdoors with others. Current spring time water levels in the Snake River are flowing high and fast, with extremely cold water temperature, debris and hidden obstacles that can be very dangerous. Some backcountry roads have little room for traffic next to the Snake River or left over snow and runoff that require extra attention to safe driving habits to avoid being involved is a crash or incident that causes an emergency situation. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office always recommends wearing your seatbelt, helmets, and safety gear, and never operating a motor vehicle, ATV, motorcycle, or watercraft if you’ve been consuming alcohol or illegal drugs.
Starting this weekend the Sheriff’s Office will be utilizing grant monies to put extra Deputies in our backcountry areas on patrol to look for Underage Alcohol activity, Off Highway Vehicle violations, and other criminal activity. Deputies want to remind the public to always respect private property boundaries, stay on trails and designated roads, and pack trash and other items back out as you leave. Parents should take extra time to talk to their kids about safe practices and behavior when riding dirt bikes and ATV’s that include wearing helmets and protective gear.
Find more information on Off Highway Vehicle safety, rules, and registration on the Idaho State Parks and Recreation website www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov. To report criminal activity call our dispatch at 208-529-1200 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 208-522-1983, or online at www.ifcrime.org.