Last Updated on February 27, 2021 by Indiana State Police
SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Police
Indiana State Police will be conducting “full-court press” in March to combat impaired, dangerous driving
Motorists are encouraged to drive sober during St. Patrick’s Day and NCAA Tournament.
Lieutenant T.J. Zeiser, commander of the Indiana State Police Peru Post, announced that troopers will be cracking down on dangerous and impaired driving in March, as part of a statewide enforcement campaign beginning Monday and concluding on March 21, 2021. Troopers will be conducting high-visibility patrols looking for those driving aggressively, over the speed limit, or under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
The overtime patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and disbursed through a grant by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).
According to NHTSA, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year in the United States. Although 2020 was a unique year, due to the pandemic, preliminary data from the federal safety agency shows that while miles traveled had decreased by about 14.5 percent in the first nine months, overall traffic fatalities increased by 4.6 percent nationwide.
Also, a separate report released from NHTSA revealed that more road users engaged in risky behaviors in 2020 such as speeding or driving under the influence and that fewer motorists wore seat belts.
Despite having fewer drivers on the road in Indiana, 2020 was the third highest year for traffic fatalities (850) in the past decade, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
“We’re seeing an uptick in dangerous driving during the pandemic, and it’s very concerning,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops this March to reverse that trend and encourage safe driving behavior. Preventing loss of life is our top priority.”
Dangerous driving also includes such factors as speeding, tailgating, and disregarding a traffic signal – all of which are against the law in Indiana. Additionally, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.
To avoid the potential for legal fees and criminal charges, the department recommends following these simple steps:
Slow down and follow all posted speed limits.
Do not tailgate or drive aggressively.
Put down the phone and avoid distracted driving.
Buckle up – every trip, every time.
Never drive impaired. If you plan on drinking, plan for a safe, sober ride home.
If you are hosting a party, always offer alcohol-free beverages and make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver or allow them to spend the night.
Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think that they are about to drive while impaired.