Police cracking down on drunk driving this holiday weekend

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 1:53 PM EST
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(WNDU) - Millions are traveling for Thanksgiving this holiday season!

AAA predicts that around 54.6 million people will be heading out for the holiday, and of those, nearly 49 million will be traveling by car!

To prevent crashes, the Indiana State Police Bremen Post will increase enforcement as part of the “Safe Family Travel” campaign. All week, officers will be out in greater numbers conducting patrols designed to discourage impaired driving and promote seatbelt use.

The patrols will last through New Year’s Day.

On average, approximately one-fourth of Indiana’s traffic fatalities are caused by drunk drivers.

Motorists are encouraged to contact the department or call 911 if they encounter an impaired or unsafe driver on the road.

Meantime, many bars were packed Wednesday for what is commonly known as “Blackout Wednesday.”

“Everybody is coming home from college and families are coming into town. They are going out and visiting the bars, getting together, but it’s really easy to get carried away and have things just sneak up on you,” said Sergeant Daniel Demler with the South Bend Police Department.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2016-2020, 138 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were drunk.

“Traditionally, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the top three drinking holidays of the year. So that means, very well, that there’s going to be people under the influence on the roads...And we are just asking people to do the smart thing and use one of those options that are literally at our fingertips now, Uber and Lyft, to have a safe way home,” said Sergeant Ted Bohner with Indiana State Police.

Law enforcement officials want you to be responsible.

“So, we just are asking people to do their due diligence. Be a courtesy driver. Follow the rules of the road. Put down all those distractions,” said Bohner.