Statewide—The Indiana State Police is joining with other law-enforcement agencies across Indiana this March to increase dangerous and impaired driving patrols for the NCAA Tournament and St. Patrick’s Day. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is the important reminder coming from law enforcement agencies as the two heaviest drinking events of the year, St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA Tournament, occur in March. All throughout March officers will be conducting federally funded overtime patrols and sobriety checkpoints in an effort to prevent dangerous and impaired driving.
According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, or ICJI, in March of 2019, there were 433 alcohol-related crashes across Indiana, resulting in 205 injuries and five fatalities. Of those, 65 crashes and one fatality occurred during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend alone.
“St. Patrick’s Day is one of, if not the biggest drinking days of the year,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “If you’re out celebrating, make the right choice and find a sober driver to get you, and your friends, home safely. Luck won’t keep you out of jail if you’re caught driving under the influence.”
Impaired driving isn’t the only risk on the road in March, according to ICJI. Dangerous driving, which includes speed too fast for existing conditions and aggressive driving are also a concern and something officers will be watching for throughout the mobilization. Franklin, Ripley, and Decatur Counties have announced they will have extra officers on the roadways during March.
Tips for staying safe include:
- Before the celebration begins, plan a safe way home.
- Never drive impaired.
- Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
- 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.