Labor Day weekend is coming up, and The Boone County Traffic Safety Partnership (BCTSP) is warning residents against drinking and driving. The department is taking part in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization to educate motorists about the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. Now until Sept. 6, officers will be increasing patrols showing zero tolerance for anyone caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The extra high-visibility enforcement is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). “Driving under the influence can have severe and, in some cases, tragic consequences, so we’re
asking everyone to plan ahead if they know they’ll be out celebrating,” said Boone County Sheriff, Michael Nielsen “These tragedies are preventable, and we don’t want to lose anyone this year.” About 28 people die in the U.S. in drunk driving crashes every day. That’s approximately one person every 52 minutes and more than 10,000 annually, according to NHTSA. In Indiana, drunk driving has been on the rise. Of the 898 traffic fatalities that occurred last year in the state, 151, or 17 percent, were alcohol-related. That’s up from 130 in 2019. During Labor Day weekend alone, there were 12 fatal collisions with one involving a driver over the legal limit.
“Impaired driving continues to take a terrible toll on our state and nation,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “While these overtime patrols are effective and will undoubtedly save lives, we can’t enforce our way out of this issue. It’s up to everyone to drive sober and make smart choices behind the wheel.” In Indiana, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. In addition, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to one year.