Last year in Indiana there were 140 fatalities and more than 2,000 injuries that were attributed to alcohol-related crashes. Impaired driving is one of the most devastating, yet preventable crimes committed in Indiana and nationwide. While impairment at any level may still be an offense, it is illegal in all 50 states to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above.
That is why the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute today announced its support of the statewide crackdown on impaired and dangerous driving known as Blitz 72, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” The crackdown takes place Aug. 17 to Sept. 3 covering the Labor Day holiday period.
In 2011, there were 4,938 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Indiana. During the 2011 Labor Day holiday period (September 2-6), there were 111 alcohol-related crashes in Indiana where a driver was impaired. During last year’s Labor Day Crackdown, there were 13,465 citations issued, 824 misdemeanor DUIs, and 141 felony DUIs.
“This (enforcement) effort will pull out all the stops to keep impaired drivers off the roadways through proven enforcement tactics or, if necessary, arrest,” said Ryan Klitzsch, ICJI Traffic Safety division director.
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a national campaign funded and led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Locally, it relies on thousands of officers from more than 250 law enforcement agencies throughout the state to enforce Indiana’s impaired driving laws.
The blitz will consist of high-visibility enforcement patrols such as saturation and roving patrols and encompass high-profile Labor Day and end of summer events. It is reinforced by extensive state and national advertising aimed at raising awareness of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” message among all motorists.
“We cannot stress enough that motorists who are suspected of drinking and driving, will get pulled over. While the risk of physical harm is high for those who drive impaired, the consequences of getting arrested are equally severe. A DUI can cause one to incur huge legal fees, result in the loss of a driver’s license, raise insurance rates, damage one’s career and bring about personal embarrassment. Ultimately, drinking and driving is a lose-lose scenario.
As law enforcement is out in full force during this upcoming crackdown, remember to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” Klitzsch added.