DATE: Wednesday, February, 28, 2018
SUBJECT: March Dangerous & Impaired Driving Enforcement Blitz will include DUI Checkpoint
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

During a news conference earlier today at the University of Southern Indiana, representatives of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Traffic Safety Partnership (which includes the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department) along with the Indiana State Police announced details about and answered questions related to the upcoming statewide March Impaired Driving Enforcement Blitz. This high-visibility enforcement effort, known as Operation Pull Over Blitz #93, will run from Friday, March 2nd through Sunday, March 25th. The increased enforcement effort will encompass St. Patrick’s Day, USI and UE spring breaks, as well as the NCAA tournament.

This impaired driving and aggressive driving enforcement campaign will consist of saturation patrols and may include multiple DUI checkpoints as part of a comprehensive effort to promote safe driving behavior and curb drunk driving. With March 17th falling on a Saturday, local law enforcement will conduct saturation patrols intended to make our roads safer. Anyone found to be driving impaired will be arrested.

Last year the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) purchased 1,759 new portable breath tests for Indiana law-enforcement agencies. An additional 836 devices will be purchased this year. But unlike alcohol, there is no quick field test for the legal and illegal drugs that can impair drivers. ICJI and NHTSA are issuing Android tablets and apps to assist 185 highly-trained police officers in the recognition and enforcement of drug-impaired driving.

If you plan to drink alcohol, please don’t drive. Designate a sober driver beforehand. If you are impaired, use a taxi service or call a sober friend or family member. If you see a motorist who is operating in an unsafe manner or you suspect is driving while impaired, please call 911 immediately. Be prepared to report the location, description, and direction the vehicle is traveling.

The first planned checkpoint for the March Blitz will be conducted this Friday, March 02, 2018 from 11:00 pm until 2:00 am. The location for Friday’s checkpoint was chosen based on local traffic collision data. Analysis of data captured in March of 2017 indicated that several geographical areas within Vanderburgh County accounted for a disproportionately high number of reported hit and run crashes. The upcoming checkpoint will be located within one of those areas. Hit and run crashes are often the result of impaired drivers who try to avoid arrest by fleeing the scene. The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Traffic Safety Partnership conducts sobriety checkpoints in an effort to detect and deter impaired drivers (thereby reducing the occurrence of alcohol and drug related traffic crashes).

Enhanced local traffic enforcement is made possible by funding provided by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Pictured above: The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office at the 2018 USI Safe Spring Break Fair. Students were given the opportunity to take Standardized Field Sobriety Tests while wearing “Drunk Goggles” that simulate impairment.