In an effort to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities on Indiana roadways this March, Ryan Klitzsch, Traffic Safety division director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) today announced that state and local law enforcement agencies will on Friday begin the Operation Pull Over Blitz.
This high-visibility crackdown on impaired and dangerous driving known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” will take place from March 2-18 covering the Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, and other sporting events during the month of March.
“As with any sporting event, fans gather and may have a few drinks while cheering for their favorite team. Our advice is simple, if you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before tipoff,” says Klitzsch.
Over the next 17 days, more than 250 state and local law enforcement agencies will deploy sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and other enforcement tactics that are designed to detect and remove impaired drivers from the roads. Officers will also be on the lookout for aggressive drivers – that is, those who speed, run red lights, tailgate and commit other traffic violations.
Last year’s two-week blitz period resulted in a total of 633 DUI arrests. Yet according to ICJI, eight fatalities occurred in March 2011 due to an impaired driver and/or motorcyclist with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
“While last year’s arrest numbers are encouraging, there were still eight fatalities, which more than likely could have been prevented,” Klitzsch added.
“We want Hoosiers to enjoy this highly spirited time of year. What is most important however is that all drivers exercise good judgment before they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The inevitable consequences of being arrested, losing your license, facing jail time or even worse – killing yourself or someone else are simply not worth the risk.”
Operation Pull Over is a federally funded enforcement initiative administered by the Traffic Safety division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). To increase public awareness of the effort, ICJI’s Traffic Safety division today launched a statewide advertising campaign that will continue through March 11. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign consists of radio and television advertising.