PUTNAMVILLE -- Indiana State Police troopers in the Putnamville District Friday joined more than 250 other Indiana law enforcement agencies across the Hoosier state in the "Drunk Driving -- Over the Limit -- Under Arrest" March crackdown on impaired and dangerous drivers.
Through March 18, troopers will work overtime to conduct high-visibility enforcement activities designed specifically to identify impaired drivers.
According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), alcoholic beverages continue to be considered the primary factor in more than a third of alcohol-related collisions in the state.
The crackdown on impaired and dangerous driving known will take place March 2-18, covering the Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, the St. Patrick's Day holiday, and other sporting events during 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," Ryan Klitzsch, Traffic Safety division director of the ICJI, said.
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 also will 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.
Operation Pull Over is a statewide enforcement effort supported by federal funding allocated to the Indiana State Police from the Traffic Safety Division of the ICJI.