Indiana Law Enforcement Begins Crackdown on Impaired & Dangerous Driving in Time for March Basketball, St. Patty’s Festivities
Indiana Law Enforcement Begins Crackdown on
Impaired & Dangerous Driving in Time for March Basketball, St. Patty’s Festivities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2009
(Indianapolis, IN.)— St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular day of celebration for many Hoosiers. From parades to parties, many will participate in events that celebrate Irish heritage. However given that many of these festivities will include alcohol, this time of year can also be very dangerous.
In an effort to deter impaired and dangerous driving on Indiana’s roadways this month, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and the Governor’s Council on Impaired & Dangerous Driving is joining with more than 250 state and local law enforcement agencies to launch Operation Pull Over blitz 58.
During this 17 day, high-visibility enforcement period (March 6-22), participating law enforcement agencies will deploy sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and other activities designed to detect impaired drivers. Officers will also be on the lookout for aggressive and unbelted motorists.
“March is a spirited time for Hoosiers. From Big Ten basketball to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the month will present numerous opportunities for many people to celebrate with family and friends,” said ICJI Executive Director, Neil Moore. “If you plan to drink during these festivities, don’t rely on luck to keep you safe or to keep you out of trouble. Be responsible and take appropriate precautions.”
In 2007, Indiana reported two fatalities in two separate collisions on St. Patrick’s Day - both were alcohol related. Over the past five years, a total of nine people lost their lives in Indiana motor vehicle crashes on St. Patrick’s Day. Of that number, 33 percent were killed in an alcohol-related crash.
According to research from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), impaired driving remains one of America’s deadliest problems. In 2007, 41,059 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle crashes. Of that number, 12,998 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
All Hoosiers can enjoy a safe St. Patrick’s Day by remembering a few easy tips:
- Designate a sober driver before drinking and give that person your keys;
- If you are impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely;
§ If you are hosting a party, offer non-alcoholic beverages like soda and water, serve plenty of food, and allow anyone who is too impaired to drive to sleep over;
- If you spot a suspected drunk driver, call 911;
- And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get them to where they are going safely.
Operation Pull Over blitz 58 is a statewide enforcement effort that is supported by federal funding allocated to state and local law enforcement agencies from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). During this crackdown on impaired and aggressive driving, law enforcement officers will work overtime time hours to enforce Indiana’s .08 legal limit and other state traffic laws.
Beginning March 2-16, Indiana will launch a paid media flight in support of blitz 58, known as “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” to reinforce the zero tolerance approach that officers will take towards impaired drivers.