North Vernon Police Department today announced the results of the overtime patrols that were conducted in March to prevent dangerous and impaired driving. During the month-long crackdown, officers issued 16 tickets and made 1 arrest in North Vernon, Indiana.

During the overtime patrols conducted, officers issued 56 written warnings, and multiple verbal warnings. 1 arrest for operating while intoxicated on a controlled substance was made with additional charges of: possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of syringe. Multiple vehicle searches and vehicle impounds were conducted based upon various violations.

“Driving impaired or dangerously has consequences,” said Sgt. Isaac Barkes. “You could get arrested, or worse, be involved in a traffic crash that causes serious injury or death. Don’t wait until it’s too late to change your behavior. Roadway safety is every driver’s responsibility.”

According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, dangerous driving, which includes such factors as speeding, tailgating and disregarding a traffic signal, accounted for 12% of all crashes and 30% of all traffic fatalities in Indiana in 2019. Despite having fewer drivers on the road last year, 2020 was one of the highest years for traffic fatalities in the past decade.

To address this issue, the department joined more than 200 across the state for the March Enforcement Campaign, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through ICJI. High-visibility patrols were conducted to discourage impaired and unsafe driving, with a special emphasis on St. Patrick’s Day and events surrounding the NCAA Tournament.

“This campaign was about reminding motorists that if you choose to drive impaired, too fast or aggressively, you will get caught,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Hundreds of lives are lost every year due to dangerous driving in Indiana. Until we reach zero fatalities, we’ll continue to prioritize education and enforcement.”

With warmer weather here and the NCAA Tournament still underway, the department wants to encourage motorists to share the road and stay safe by slowing down, avoiding distractions, buckling up and driving sober or designating a sober driver.

In Indiana, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and having their license suspended for up to one year.