Kosciusko Traffic Safety Partnership Warns Drivers To Drive Sober This March

US 30 looking east at Anchorage Road in Warsaw. (Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw)

Drive sober or get pulled over is the message being sent by the Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership.

Police say two of the heaviest drinking events of March are right around the corner – St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA basketball tournament. All throughout March, officers will conduct overtime patrols and sobriety checkpoints to prevent impaired driving as 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 press targeting anyone driving under the influence,” Craig Allebach, Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership Grant administrator, said. “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 2019, there were 433 alcohol-related crashes across Indiana, resulting in 205 injuries and five fatalities. Of those, 65 crashes (15%) and one fatality occurred during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend.

“St. Patrick’s Day is one of, if not the, biggest drinking days of the year,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI traffic safety director. “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 include factors such as speeding too fast for weather conditions and aggressive driving is also something officers will be watching for throughout the mobilization.