STATEWIDE–Drive sober or get pulled over. That is the warning from Indiana State Police to you before you get behind the wheel.
Going on from now until Labor Day is their annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign. It is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).
“With Labor Day coming, it’s kind of that end of summer hurrah where everybody is celebrating the summer coming to an end. There are cookouts and get-togethers and a lot of times drinking comes along with that,” said Ted Bohner, state police sergeant with the Bremen district.
Newly released data from NHTSA shows that an estimated 9,560 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first quarter of 2022. That’s up 7% from the previous year and the highest number of deaths in 20 years for that period.
In Indiana, traffic fatalities increased by more than 20% during that time compared to 2021.
“You’ll continue to see not only more troopers on the road but other local and county departments will have officers out there too,” said Bohner.
Drunk driving makes up roughly 25% of the state’s fatal collisions, but alcohol isn’t the only concern.
“Since the start of the pandemic, more drivers are testing positive for THC and poly-drug use, a combination of drugs. We’re working to address that by training more officers in advanced detection techniques and providing new tools to law enforcement, but the best and easiest solution is for people to not drive high in the first place,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director.
The average drunk driving arrest costs $10,000.
LISTEN: Full interview with Ted Bohner
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