Over a 24-day period, officers from the Frankfort Police Department and Clinton County Sheriff’s Office issued 38 citations and made 12 arrests to make our roads safer for families traveling this Thanksgiving and holiday season. Federal highway safety funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute supported overtime patrols for more than 230 law-enforcement agencies across the state. Three of the arrests were for drivers alleged to be under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana.
“Why do we enforce traffic laws? There is only one reason – to save lives,” said Deputy Chief Scott Shoemaker. “Anyone who responds to a severe crash, or notifies next of kin, simply wants you and your family to buckle up and drive sober this holiday season.”
Shoemaker also said 56 warnings were issued ranging from equipment malfunctions and speeding.
In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.
Indiana has a primary seat-belt law, meaning that police officers may ticket unrestrained drivers or passengers, even if no other traffic violation has taken place. In addition, all passengers under age 8 must be in an approved car seat or booster seat.
The partnership will continue to enforce seat belt, impaired driving and other traffic laws to ensure holiday celebrations are safe and festive.
The ICJI and Purdue University Center for Road Safety estimate that about 93 percent of Hoosiers buckle up. But the small amount of drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts made up more than half of Indiana’s fatal crashes in 2016.
In addition, Indiana law-enforcement agencies recently received 1,759 portable breath tests to establish probable cause when arresting drunk drivers. More information and list of recipient agencies is at www.in.gov/cji/files/Highway_Safety_PBT_release.pdf.
Sober driving tips
With all of today’s options for getting home safely, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired, as it endangers you and everyone else around you. Law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to impaired driving:
- Designate, or be, a sober driver.
- Use public transportation.
- Call a cab or a ridesharing service.
- Download the SaferRide mobile app on the Android Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store. This simple app only has three options: call a taxi, call a friend, and identify your location for pickup.
- Celebrate at home or a place where you can stay until sober.
- Throwing a party? Offer non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food.
- Never provide alcohol to minors.
- Ask young drivers about their plans.
- Friend or family member about to drive? Take the keys and make alternate arrangements.
Impaired driving is three times more common at night than during the day. If you see an impaired driver, safely turn off the road away from the vehicle and then call 911.