WINONA LAKE — Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership recently announced its participation in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization.
Now through Labor Day, officers will be conducting overtime patrols, seeking out drunk drivers and showing zero tolerance for anyone driving impaired.
The patrols are supported with funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration distributed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
“Drunk drivers will be arrested on the spot — no excuses,” said Craig Allebach, Traffic Safety Partnership grant administrator. “The choice is yours. Make the right one by driving sober, using a ride share service or calling a designated driver. We want everyone to have a good time, but to do so safely.”
According to ICJI, in 2018, there were just under 4,000 alcohol-impaired collisions in Indiana, resulting in 83 fatalities. Of those, 48 collisions and one fatality occurred during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
In Indiana, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Additionally, drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and having their license suspended for up to one year.
“Last year, one person died every 50 minutes in a drunk driving crash in the U.S.,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI executive director. “Every one of those fatalities could’ve been prevented. Help us save lives by putting an end to this reckless behavior.”
For over 20 years, Indiana has been participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This year, more than 200 state and local law enforcement agencies will be taking part, joining thousands more across the country.
To avoid getting arrested, the department recommends planning a safe and sober ride home before consuming alcohol. Even if only one drink is consumed, designate a sober driver or plan to use a ride share service, public transportation or taxi to get home safely. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
Additionally, don’t let someone get behind the wheel if that person has been drinking. Take their keys and help make arrangements to get them home safely. Motorists that encounter a drunk driver on the road are encouraged to call 911.