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Millions of Americans will travel our nation’s highways during the holidays to visit family and friends. With more vehicles on the road, the chances of being involved in a crash increase greatly.

The Huntingburg Police Department as well as the Jasper Police Department are joining law-enforcement agencies across the country to participate in the winter “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization going on now through Jan. 1. In addition, Indiana police are enforcing seat belt and speeding laws.

Overtime patrols and equipment purchases are supported with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds distributed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Huntingburg Assistant Police Chief Brad Kramer and Jasper Assistant Police Chief Aaron Persohn say traffic laws are enforced to prevent the crashes, injuries and deaths that hurt our community.

Authorities say to make sure you are there to open your gifts this holiday season by buckling up – every trip, every time – and using a sober driver.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute recently purchased more than 2,600 portable breath test devices to assist 150 Indiana law-enforcement agencies in establishing probable cause when arresting drunk drivers.

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol content 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.

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the 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.

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