Johnson County, state police plan drunk driving enforcement campaign

Johnson County Law Enforcement Coalition, Indiana State Police and agencies across the state are gearing up to participate in a late summer impaired driving enforcement campaign. This weekend through Labor Day, officers will be increasing patrols to target people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The extra high-visibility enforcement is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, through grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, or ICJI.

Alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities and other dangerous driving behaviors have recently increased, fueling a nationwide surge in roadway deaths. It’s a trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing, Johnson County law enforcement officials say.

Newly released data from NHTSA shows that fatal crashes are up 7% nationwide in the last year. In Indiana, traffic fatalities increased by more than 20% during that time. Drunk driving is a factor in roughly 25% of the state’s fatal collisions.

Additionally, illegal drug-positive blood samples submitted to the Indiana Department of Toxicology for drug analysis after a crash increased by 7% in the last year.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is both dangerous and illegal. People caught could face an arrest, jail time and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drunk driving arrest costs up to $10,000, law enforcement officials say.

Even if it’s only one drink, people should make a plan and designate a sober driver or use a ride service to get home safely, law enforcement officials say.

Motorists are encouraged to call 911 to report suspected impaired driving.