KOSCIUSKO — Every year, summer travelers hit Indiana’s roads in droves to enjoy barbecues, picnics, lakes and pool parties. This also increases impaired driving on the way home from summer festivities.
Every August, more than 230 Indiana police agencies join thousands nationwide for Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement. This year, the Kosciusko County Traffic Safety partnership will be performing sobriety checkpoints and patrols all summer long. Police will be working overtime using federal funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
“Our officers are trained to spot, and will show zero tolerance for, impaired drivers,” said, Craig Allebach, Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership grant administrator, “Our highly-visible traffic enforcement intends to save lives by removing impaired drivers from our roadways.”
Impaired driving includes alcohol and prescription or illegal drugs. In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.
Over-the-counter medication may also cause impairment when combined with alcohol or a second drug. If you’re taking a new drug or a higher dose, talk with your doctor or don’t drive until you know how it affects you.
A DUI arrest means going to jail and losing your driver’s license. The average DUI cost? About $10,000 including car towing and repairs, attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work and other hefty expenses.
For more information about impaired driving visit http://on.IN.gov/buzzeddriving.
Sober driving tips
With all of today’s options for getting home safely, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired as it endangers you and everyone else around you. Law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to impaired driving:
- Remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
- Designate – or be – a sober driver.
- Use public transportation.
- Call a cab or a ridesharing service.
- Download the SaferRide mobile app on the Android Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store. This simple app only has three options: call a taxi, call a friend and identify your location for pickup.
- Celebrate at home or a place where you can stay until sober.
- Throwing a party? Offer non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food.
- Never provide alcohol to minors.
- Ask young drivers about their plans.
- Friend or family member about to drive? Take the keys and make alternate arrangements.
Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over
Motorcyclists have the reputation for being tough, but no one is tough enough to withstand the effects of impaired riding. Motorcycles make up about 3 percent of registered vehicles, but are dramatically overrepresented in fatal crashes involving alcohol. And the more that bikers drink, the less likely they are to wear their helmets.
Report impaired drivers
Impaired driving is three times more common at night than during the day. If you see an impaired driver, turn off the road away from the vehicle and call 911. Signs of impaired driving include:
- Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line
- Driving at a very slow speed
- Braking erratically
- Making wide turns
- Stopping without cause
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Driving after dark with headlights off
- Almost striking an object or vehicle
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Turning abruptly or illegally