Express Staff Writer
The holiday season can present any number of challenges for drivers in
the Wood River Valley, not the least of which are winter parking regulations, which
prohibit vehicles being parked on city streets during late-night snowplowing hours. The
regulations can result in a nearly $100 penalty and impoundment if a driver leaves a
vehicle parked on a city street overnight.
More importantly, the regulations present a particularly nasty
Catch-22; that is, people leaving a bar or party with too much alcohol in their system
might opt to drive home rather than risk having a vehicle towed.
Of course, if theyre stopped by police, or cause a serious
accident, the consequences are much worse.
With a DUI conviction costing potentially thousands of dollars and
possibly resulting in a jail sentence and suspension of driving privileges, drinking and
driving is "just not worth the chance," Ketchum police Capt. J. T. Creviston
said during a telephone interview.
Local law enforcement, who will be out in peak numbers throughout the
holidays, say the Catch-22 is just a fact of life in the Wood River Valley and that
drivers simply need to plan ahead by taking a taxi or by assigning a designated driver.
However, theyre not unwilling to help anyone who fails to plan
ahead. Officers in all four cities said they would do whatever they could to get a vehicle
off the street, if that meant the driver would find some other way to get home.
Creviston suggested that anyone needing assistance call the police
"If they let us know, well work with them," he said.
The parking regulations, which prohibit parking on city streets between
2 a.m. and 7 a.m., cause a problem most often in Ketchum, where a large number of people
go to bars and where there are very few places to park besides on the street.
In any local city, drivers whose cars are towed should expect to pay
from $65 to $90 for towing, about $5 per day for storage and from $5 to $43 for the
Even though the same parking situation exists in Hailey, Bellevue and
Sun Valley, in those cities there are usually alternative places to park off the public
If you like to drink in Bellevue, consider yourself lucky. That
citys officers often call local bars before plowing begins to let drivers know to
move their vehicles, said Marshal Jeff Gunter.
All in all, its probably best to leave the car at home and take a
taxi, or assign a designated driver.
Throughout the valley, city police and the sheriffs department
will have extra officers and deputies on duty looking for DUI offenders.
Ketchum police, in particular, will be stopping drivers for "any
violation whatsoever," Creviston said, in their search for DUIs.
"The bottom line is," he said, "people should plan