Community News

Motorists urged to drive sober for St. Patrick's Day and the NCAA tournament

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. That’s the importantreminder coming from Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership with two of the heaviest drinking events of the year around the corner: St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA tournament.

 

All throughout March, officers will be conducting overtime patrols and sobriety checkpoints to prevent dangerous and impaired driving.

 

This is part of a statewide enforcement campaign, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

 

“This March, we’re conducting our own full-court presstargeting anyone driving under the influence,” said Sheriff Louie Koch “As a basketball state, we want everybody watching the tournament to have a good time, but not at the expense of others. It’s simple: If you plan on drinking, don’t drive.”

 

According to ICJI, in March of 2019, there were 433 alcohol-related crashes across Indiana, resulting in 205 injuries and five fatalities. Of those, 65 crashes (15 percent) and one fatality occurred during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend alone.

 

“St. Patrick’s Day is one of, if not the, biggest drinking days of the year,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “If you’re out celebrating, make the right choice and find a sober driver to get you, and your friends, home safely. Luck won’t keep you out of jail if you’re caught driving under the influence.”

 

Impaired driving isn’t the only risk on the road in March, according to ICJI. Dangerous driving, which includes factors such as speeding too fast for weather conditions and aggressive driving, is also a concern and something the Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership officers will be watching for throughout the mobilization.

 

The following list includes several safety tips toprevent impaired driving this March.

 

  • Before the celebration begins, plan a safe way home.
  • Never drive impaired.
  • Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
  • If you do drink, use a taxi, public transportation, ridesharing service or designate a sober friend or family member, and give them your keys.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help make arrangements to get them home safely.

 

Click here to watch a video that features aSt. Patrick’s DayDrive Sober or Get Pulled Oversafety message.