Area Police Cracking Down on Impaired Drivers in March
March 4, 2014 — This month, area safety officials want drivers to know luck won’t work if they’re caught driving drunk on St. Patrick’s Day.
“March is a big time for celebrations and typically alcohol is involved when you have those sort of activities,” says Michael Grennes, a sergeant with the Valparaiso police department.
Grennes says with the Irish holiday coming up, and NCAA March Madness events set for this month, more local officers will be patrolling roads looking for signs of buzzed or drunk driving under Operation Pull Over.
“We’ll be out, working extra patrols, looking for DUIs, especially on the weekends and evening hours,” he says. “We’ll also be out doing aggressive driving patrols, which is being out during daytime hours looking for people that are speeding, running stoplights, stop signs, as well as seat belts and texting and driving violations.”
Now through Sunday, March 23, Valparaiso’s police department will be one of several state agencies trying to deter distracted or impaired driving. Police departments from Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties are also involved in the statewide blitz. Grennes says officers are volunteering to work extra patrols.
The enforcement effort will also include sobriety checkpoints throughout Indiana.
Statistics show Hoosier roads need the higher police presence. Between February and March in 2013, there were 388 crashes on Hoosier roadways where alcohol or illegal drugs were considered a contributing circumstance in the crash.
La Porte Police Department Captain Tom Heath says he recommends the following steps to keep celebrations safe:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- If you are impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police
By: Hilary Powell