Seat belt, DUI blitz taking place

The Huntington County Sheriff’s Department and Warren Police Department are joining more than 230 local law-enforcement agencies across the state to spot violations to Indiana’s seat belt and impaired driving laws.

Through the weekend after Thanksgiving, random patrols, saturation patrols and checkpoints will be increased.

This overtime enforcement is supported with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

“Why are we advertising this enforcement blitz? To give drivers and their passengers fair warning and to make our roads as safe as possible,” said Chief Deputy Chris Newton of the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department. “Our officers live in the communities we serve and will be thankful this holiday if impaired-driving and unbuckled deaths never strike again.”

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 one year.

Indiana has a primary seat-belt law, meaning that police officers may ticket unrestrained drivers or passengers, even if no other traffic violation has taken place. In addition, all passengers under age 8 must be in an approved car seat or booster seat.