Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
Who will be participating in the “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” Campaigns?
Law enforcement officers from state, county and municipal agencies will be participating In “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” Campaigns. In addition, grantees of the Governor’s Council will use their available resources for this campaign.
Where will the enforcement be conducted?
The enforcement phase of this campaign will be statewide.
What is Indiana’s legal blood alcohol content?
.08%. Indiana law changed the legal BAC from .10 to .08 % on July 1, 2001.
Why is it a problem?
Impaired driving costs Americans billions of dollars each year in lost time, lost property and lost lives. It is a crime that kills nearly 18,000 people and injures over 275,000 other every year. Every 33 minutes, someone in American dies from an impaired driving crash. Every two minutes, someone is injured. Impaired driving crashes cost society more than $114 billion a year.
Aren’t sobriety checkpoints illegal?
No, they are legal. In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints in Michigan vs. Sitz. The court decided that the interest in reducing the incidences of impaired driving was sufficient to justify the brief intrusion of a properly conducted sobriety checkpoint. If conducted properly, sobriety checkpoints do not constitute illegal search and seizure in most states. Thirty-nine states, plus the District of Columbia, can legally conduct sobriety checkpoints.
I thought sobriety checkpoints were illegal in Indiana.
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints do not violate Indiana’s Constitution when implemented pursuant to a properly approved, minimally intrusive, neutral plan with standardized instructions and explicit guidance for officers to protect against inconsistent enforcement and a narrow objective.
What percent of crashes are alcohol-related?
In Indiana during 2005, 33 % of Drivers involved in a fatal crash has some measurable level of alcohol in their system. In Indiana in 2005, 28 % of drivers tested .08 % or higher. This is above the legal limit.
What are saturation patrols?
Saturation patrols are concentrated enforcement efforts that target impaired drivers by observing moving violations such as reckless driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and others. Motorists and motorcyclists are evaluated on an individual basis because certain behaviors have been displayed to law enforcement officers while the vehicle is in motion. Well-publicized saturation patrols educate the general driving public that breaking traffic laws is a serious problem and that violators will be punished.
What are sobriety checkpoints?
At sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement officials evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment at certain points on the roadway. Vehicles are stopped in a specific sequence, such as every other vehicle or every fourth, fifth or sixth vehicle. The frequency with which vehicles are stopped depends on the personnel available to staff the checkpoint and traffic congestion. Well-publicized checkpoint programs educate both those who pass through the checkpoint and the general driving public that impaired drivers will be caught.
Why do we need sobriety checkpoint and saturation patrol programs?
An impaired driver can be on the road 772 times before getting caught and being arrested. Seasonal increases in alcohol and drug use help local agencies target their enforcement efforts. Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols provide law enforcement officials with effective tools for removing impaired drivers from roads and highways.
What makes sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols so effective?
Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols help law enforcement officials detect and arrest impaired drivers. They also are a deterrent to people who might choose to drive after drinking by increasing the risk of arrest when the checkpoints and patrols are properly publicized.
Where and when are the best times to run sobriety checkpoints?
Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols are generally conducted on weekend nights at locations where impaired driving is high according to arrest and crash records.
Why can’t a law enforcement officer call someone to pick the person up or just take them home if they have not been involved in a crash or are drunk/impaired?
Officers are required by law to arrest whenever they encounter an impaired individual that has been operating a vehicle. There are several examples from years ago of people turning around and suing an officer that had given the person a ’break’ after they were involved in a crash.
What happens when a person refuses a chemical test?
They are immediately charged with a DUI and with refusing. A refusal results in two charges and your license being suspended up to one year.
Why do officers waste taxpayers’ dollars on checkpoints or extra patrols?
Communities throughout America support increased criminal justice efforts to stop this illegal and life threatening offense. Studies show that the majority of Americans consider impaired driving as one of our nation’s most important social issues, ahead of healthcare, poverty/hunger, racism and education. Nearly 97 percent of Americans view impaired driving as a major threat to the community. As a result, the majority of Americans support increased use of enforcement efforts, such as saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, to protect innocent victims. And, two-thirds of Americans strongly endorse the use of stricter and more severe penalties against impaired drivers to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Why aren’t law enforcement officers committed to stopping “major” crimes?
Spending 10 hours on traffic safety enforcement is spending 10 hours on crime prevention. Some people think law enforcement officers should be fighting crimes such as murder, rape and burglary instead of enforcing traffic safety laws. The fact is on average one person a day is murdered in Indiana, while three lose their lives to motor vehicle crashes. Yes, crime prevention is a very important part of their job, however, enforcement of our traffic laws are equally important and can save many lives. This program is not taking any officers from "crime prevention." We are actually adding officers to the road because this effort is conducted through overtime hours. Many felons have been apprehended in the course of being stopped for a seat belt violation or driving while impaired. In fact, just during Click It or Ticket in May 2003, there were also 108 individuals arrested for criminal misdemeanors, 30 criminal felony arrests, and 28 drivers arrested for DUI. We look at this as just another way of protecting our citizens.
How many drinks can I have before I get to .08?
It depends on if you are male or female, your weight and height and many other factors. Your BEST AND SAFEST choice - if know you will be drinking, always have designated driver.
I’m sure this huge initiative is quite expensive. The state is in a fiscal crisis. How can you justify spending this kind of money?
This program is 100 percent federally funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The money was allocated solely for the purpose of a strong media campaign and strict enforcement efforts to decrease the number of impaired drivers. If Indiana would not have received this funding, it would have gone to another state, and we would continue to have too many Hoosiers dying on our roadways.
What is the cost of alcohol-related crashes?
Impaired driving crashes cost the public more than $110 billion a year. Alcohol-related crashes are deadlier and more serious that other crashes and they affect everyone. Annually, people other than the drinking driver pay $51 billion of the alcohol-related costs associated with an impaired driving crash.
How many people are arrested each year in Indiana for Drunk Driving?
Approximately 40,000 people are arrested each year in Indiana for Impaired Driving offenses.
What does SFST stand for and what is it?
SFST stands for Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. The test is comprised of a group of tests including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk and Turn test and One Leg Stand test. SFST has an accuracy rate of 95%.
What does having an individual walk in an abnormal fashion tell the officer about driving ability?
What the walk and turn test examines is short term memory loss, fine motor control, muscle coordination, balance and the ability to divide a person's attention. All of these are affected negatively by alcohol and drug use.