FRANKLIN/RIPLEY COUNTIES, IN — The Franklin/Ripley County Traffic Safety Partnership released the results from the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign that ran between August 18 and Labor Day. According to the department, officers made four arrests and issued 39 citations during the three-week enforcement period.
The focus of the campaign was to deter impaired driving and save lives. The effort was supported with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funds distributed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
“There’s no excuse for driving impaired, but there are consequences,” said Sgt. Adam Henson with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. “If you’re impaired by any substance, then don’t get behind the wheel. Even though the campaign is over, we’re always on the lookout for unsafe driving.”
More than 200 law enforcement agencies participated in the statewide crackdown. Across Indiana, officers conducted extra high-visibility patrols and sobriety checkpoints to curb drunk driving, which claims the lives of more than 10,000 people every year in the U.S.
That’s approximately one person every 52 minutes or 28 per day.
In Indiana, impaired driving has been on the rise. Of the 898 traffic fatalities that occurred last year, 151, or 17 percent, were alcohol-related. That’s up from 130 in 2019, data from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute shows.
“Driving impaired is deadly,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “All of those crashes and fatalities could’ve been avoided. We’ll continue to raise awareness about that fact and stress the importance of planning ahead.”
Although the mobilization is over, the department wants to remind residents that driving impaired – whether it’s from drugs or alcohol – is illegal and completely preventable. Consequences can include thousands of dollars in legal fees, increased insurance rates, loss of license, a criminal record, and possible jail time.
To avoid those, plan a safe and sober ride home before going out. Even if only one drink is consumed, designate a sober driver or plan to use a rideshare service, public transportation, or taxi. Motorists that encounter a drunk driver on the road are encouraged to call 911.
(Franklin/Ripley County Traffic Safety Partnership press release)