Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 7, 2013

Local law enforcement planning sobriety checkpoints

Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Just as basketball is stirring up a great deal of activity everywhere this month, more than 250 Indiana law enforcement agencies are planning to launch a major activity of their own.

Beginning Friday, March 8, Decatur County Traffic Safety Partnership will deploy a high-visibility crackdown on impaired and dangerous driving known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” A statewide sobriety checkpoint event will take place the weekend of March 8 and 9 with the Decatur County Sheriff Department and Greensburg Police Department conducting a sobriety checkpoint locally during this time period.

“This enforcement effort is about showing a strong and visible police presence aimed at deterring dangerous behaviors and getting drunk drivers off the street. Officers want Indiana motorists to be

fully aware of our increased enforcement so that it will encourage people to designate a sober driver or to make alternate arrangements to get home safely.”

For many Hoosiers, the month of March is synonymous with celebrating Indiana basketball traditions and the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. However, due to the increased rate of alcohol consumption these events inspire, the month of March can also be a very dangerous time on Indiana roadways.

Last year, there were 6,264 alcohol-related collisions in Indiana with 97 fatalities. During the month of March, there were 524 alcohol-related collisions. Of these collisions, six fatalities were

reported.  Just last year on St. Patrick’s Day, there were 33 alcohol-related collisions that occurred in the state of Indiana.

In support of this year’s crackdown, officers will employ high-visibility efforts that consist of sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and other methods designed to detect impaired drivers.

Local law enforcement officers recommend the following easy steps to have a safe and happy March and St. Patrick’s Day:

* Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

* Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

* If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police.

* And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive a car or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take the keys and help that person make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely.

Operation Pull Over is a federally funded enforcement initiative administered by the Traffic Safety division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). To increase public awareness of the effort, ICJI’s Traffic Safety division on March 3rd launched a statewide advertising campaign that will continue through March 13. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign consists of radio, television and web advertising.

— Daily News