Police agencies plan extra road patrols in March

The Indiana State Police, Huntington County Sheriff’s Department and Warren Police Department have joined with more than 250 Indiana state and local law enforcement agencies to target dangerous and impaired driving by increasing education and enforcement efforts.

Through March 26, officers across the state will conduct high-visibility patrols specifically designated to identify and intercept those driving aggressively and under the influence.

“As a state known for basketball hysteria, March is a time of celebration and fun here in Indiana,” says Huntington County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Chris Newton. “Throw in St. Patrick’s Day as well, and its critical we drive home the message that the only way to celebrate, is responsibly.

“For this reason, our officers will be working day and night all across the state looking out for our fellow Hoosiers, because if we do see you driving dangerously or impaired, we will pull you over.”

Increased enforcement during March is a statewide effort supported by federal funding allocated to the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department and Warren Police Department from the Traffic Safety Division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

Officers will work overtime to conduct observational patrols and sobriety checkpoints around the clock.

According to ICJI, in March 2016 there were 495 alcohol-related crashes across Indiana, resulting in 231 injuries and 11 fatalities. Additionally, during the same period, crash reports indicate 1,128 collisions occurred due to dangerous driving, resulting in 260 injuries and two fatalities. Dangerous driving includes factors such as “speed too fast for weather conditions,” “driver distracted” and “driver asleep or fatigued.”

Crashes resulting from dangerous and impaired driving are preventable. The Indiana State Police, Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, Warren Police Department and ICJI would like to remind motorists safe driving is as simple as following these easy steps:

• Before the celebration begins, plan a safe way home.

• Do not drive impaired.

• If you do drink, use a taxi, public transportation, ridesharing service or designate a sober friend or family member and give them your keys.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.

• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help make arrangements to get them home safely.

For more information on Indiana’s efforts on impaired driving prevention and enforcement,  visit www.in.gov/cji/2354.htm.