The Dubois County Sheriff’s Office had another successful “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign over the holiday season.
The mobilization began in mid-December and lasted through the first of the year.
Three seat belt citations and 43 warnings were written during the 17-day enforcement period. No arrests were made for driving while intoxicated.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (or NHTSA), there were 285 drunk-driving fatalities during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2018. That is more than any holiday that year in the U.S.
In Indiana, there were 415 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 105 injuries and 11 fatalities in December of 2019.
Although impaired driving was the main focus of the campaign, officers were also on the lookout for unbuckled motorists.
Even though Indiana’s seat belt usage rate is 94.6%, which is higher than the national average, over half of the people killed in car crashes in 2019 were not buckled up.
The campaign was funded by the NHTSA through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and over 200 state and law enforcement agencies participated.
Although the zero-tolerance mobilization is over, motorists are encouraged to drive sober, buckle up, and pay attention to the road year-round.
It is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in every state. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher can have their license suspended for up to a year and be fined.
Indiana also has a primary seat belt law. This gives officers the authority to stop and cite drivers and passengers for failing to wear a seat belt. Drivers can also be cited for each unbuckled passenger under 16. Children less than eight years old must be properly restrained in a federally approved child or booster seat.