Police release totals from extra March Madness patrols

From Local Sources

Local law enforcement agencies are releasing details of extra patrols and checkpoints focusing on impaired and aggressive driving that were conducted in conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department issued 15 traffic citations and made one arrest during the just-completed, 24-day traffic enforcement mobilization.

“As temperatures rise, so do crashes involving impaired and aggressive driving,” Chief Deputy Chris Faulkenberg said. His advice is to make sure your plans include a sober, defensive driver.

Indiana State Police troopers from the Jasper Post were joined by officers from the sheriff’s department, Huntingburg Police Department, Jasper Police Department and Ferdinand Police Department for a sobriety checkpoint Friday in Jasper.

Police report processing 41 vehicles, with one minor preliminarily charged with impaired driving. Several other minors will be charged with misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession and minor in possession of tobacco.

Also during the checkpoint, police issued 52 warnings and wrote 37 tickets. Police administered six portable breath tests and conducted one K-9 search.

The Jasper Police Department will be releasing its officers’ enforcement totals in the coming days.

While reporting the totals, police pointed out that in every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. In Indiana, drivers under age 21 with a BAC of .02 percent or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to one year.

Impaired driving includes more than alcohol, and police note there is no quick field test for the many prescription, over-the-counter and illegal drugs that can impair drivers. This year, the police officers highly trained to recognize and enforce drug-impaired driving were issued android tablets to simplify documentation for prosecution.

Police say those taking a new drug or a higher dose are advised to talk with a doctor or avoid driving until they know what effects it may have. Even over-the-counter medication can cause impairment, especially when combined with alcohol or a second drug, according to police.

Anyone who observes erratic driving is encouraged to call 911 and be prepared to give as much detailed information as possible, such as color and make of vehicle, license plate number, which roadway is being traveled and the direction of travel.

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