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STATEWIDE — Indiana State Police have announced that they will increase patrols from March 10 to April 4, 2023, to combat impaired and drug-impaired driving in the state. The initiative aims to reduce crashes and traffic fatalities during the St. Patrick’s Day and NCAA Tournament season.

Roadway deaths are increasing across the state and country. During the same period in 2022, Indiana saw 73 fatalities and over 2,200 injuries in vehicle crashes. Alcohol, drug impairment, distracted driving, speeding, and failure to wear seat belts continue to be leading causes behind the rise in fatalities.

To tackle this issue, Indiana State Police officers will conduct high-visibility patrols over the next few weeks, showing zero tolerance for anyone driving aggressively, over the speed limit, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The extra enforcement is being funded through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

Commander Jason Allen of the Indiana State Police Jasper District emphasized in a press release that safety on Indiana roadways is a top priority. The department will use strategic and deliberate efforts to detect and arrest drivers who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Throughout the campaign, the department will also encourage motorists to focus on safe driving and follow the rules of the road. This means always wearing a seat belt, driving sober, driving distraction-free, and obeying all posted speed limits.

Indiana State Police urge people to take precautions before getting behind the wheel if their plans involve alcohol. They advise people to designate a sober driver ahead of time or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.

Motorists are also encouraged to report any impaired or unsafe drivers they encounter on the road by calling 911.

With this heightened enforcement effort and increased awareness of safe driving, Indiana State Police hope to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on Indiana roadways during the next few weeks.