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Peru PD to target impaired drivers

STAFF REPORT - Peru Tribune

The Peru Police Department will join roughly 230 law-enforcement agencies across Indiana and thousands nationwide in a campaign targeting impaired driving.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization will operate from mid-August through Labor Day, and authorities will be working overtime to arrest impaired drivers, the police department said in a news release. Motorists can expect to see increased sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and saturation patrols.

“Any substance that makes you feel different – like legal or illegal drugs and alcohol – can also make you drive different,” Peru Police Ofc. Keith Smith said in the release. “Designate a sober driver today as officers will be on patrol for impaired drivers.”

The release warned that a driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrest means going to jail and possibly losing a driver’s license and costs an average of about $10,000 for car towing and repairs, attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work and other expenses.

Overtime patrols for the campaign are supported with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds distributed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.

The campaign will include the Labor Day weekend, which, according to the release, is not only a time for increased travel for end-of-summer activities but is also one of the deadliest times of year for impaired-driving deaths.

With alternatives available to avoid an arrest or injuring oneself or others, authorities recommend that motorists, residents and visitors:

n Designate, or be, a sober driver.

n Use public transportation. Call a cab or a ride-sharing service. Download the SaferRide mobile app on the Android Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store. This app only has three options: call a taxi, call a friend, and identify your location for pickup.

n Celebrate at home or a place where you can stay until sober. Offer non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food at parties. Never provide alcohol to minors. Ask young drivers about their plans. Take the keys and make alternate arrangements if an impaired friend or family member is about to drive. Motorists are also encouraged to report suspected impaired drivers by turning off the road away from the vehicle and calling 911.

Signs of an impaired driver, the release said, include:

n Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the centerline.

n Driving at a very slow speed.

n Braking erratically.

n Making wide turns.

n Stopping without cause.

n Responding slowly to traffic signals.

n Driving after dark with headlights off.

n Closely missing an object or vehicle.

n Turning abruptly or illegally.

n Driving on the wrong side of the road.