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PPD continues SIDEP project

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

The Peru Police Department finished up the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign with 73 traffic citations and 24 arrests.

According to a PPD press release, over the 24-day period and of the two dozen arrests, 10 of the arrests were for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The campaign involved 230 Indiana law enforcement agencies and thousands more across the nation who increased roving patrols, saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to catch individuals driving under the influence.

“Highly visible, data-driven traffic enforcement such as this has been proven to deter impaired driving,” said Officer Keith Smith, the department’s Operation Pull Over coordinator. “Our commitment to enforcing the law and saving lives continues throughout the year,” stated information from the release.

The extra patrols will be extending to this weekend in which the PPD and Miami County Sheriff's Department will be joining forces to conduct a DUI checkpoint in Peru.

Residents who are traveling in the late evening hours on Sept. 14 should expect a minimal delay in their schedule if they run across the checkpoint.

“The checkpoint will aim to detect impaired drivers on our roadways to ensure everyone can reach their destinations safely,” stated information from a PPD release.

In order to speed things along, residents entering the checkpoint can have their driver's license and vehicle registration at the ready for officers to check while they observe for signs of driver impairment.

A few things residents can do in addition to having proper documentation ready is to drive sober or make arrangements in advance to have a designated sober driver.

The checkpoint is a part of the Summer Impaired Driving Enforcement Project, which is a project aimed at finding and deterring intoxicated drivers on the roadway, according to the release.

"We only have a few officers participating in the extra SIDEP patrols this year, but these officers are trained and highly experienced in seeking out drunk or drugged drivers. They maintain a zero-tolerance policy for impaired, dangerous drivers in order to keep the city safe," said Officer Smith. "Since May 25, 2018, these officers have made about 45 arrests during SIDEP patrols, with about one-third being DUI arrests. The remaining arrests are primarily comprised of illegal drug possession, underage drinking, and other dangerous activities."

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in every state, according to the release.

In Indiana, individuals who are under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to one year.

Additional consequences of drunk driving include getting arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated which means jail time, having your driver's license suspended and fines that can be up to $10,000.

In order to avoid these consequences, residents are encouraged to never drive intoxicated and plan ahead when they go out drinking for the evening.