by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — Local law enforcement agencies will be cracking down on impaired and aggressive driving by participating in an initiative starting Friday that will continue through March.
Operation Pullover, made possible through a grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, will span over high school and college basketball tournaments as well as St. Patrick's Day.
The grant provides overtime pay for officers with the Cass County Sheriff's Department, Logansport Police Department and Galveston Police Department who participate in the initiative outside regular duty hours.
Maj. Jill Rife with the Cass County Sheriff's Department said officers will be carrying out aggressive and impaired driving patrols. They'll be looking out for drivers who are speeding, crossing the center line, not using proper signaling and displaying other signs of aggressive and impaired driving.
"Anything out of the ordinary," said Logansport Police Lt. Operations Pullover Coordinator Cathi Collins.
Local law enforcement won't be conducting sobriety checkpoints, but the Indiana State Police will in other areas across the state.
The initiative is being extended by two weeks this year and will conclude March 23.
"We want to continue to reduce the number of fatalities," Collins said. "We want people to make it home safe every night so their family continues to be a family."
At the end of 2013, Cass County Sheriff Randy Pryor reported there were about 100 operating-while-intoxicated arrests made by the sheriff's department.
"We will have a strong and visible police presence aimed at deterring dangerous driving and getting impaired drivers off the street," Pryor said in a press release regarding the initiative. "If you plan to drink alcohol — don't drive. Designate a sober driver."
The press release outlines several recommendations from Logansport Police Chief Mike Clark for having a safe March and St. Patrick's Day. He suggests planning a safe way home before festivities begin, designating a sober driver and leaving your car keys at home before drinking.
Clark adds people should use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation if impaired.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, Clark urges contacting the local police. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, he recommends taking their keys and helping them make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely.
More than 250 law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in the program, the press release states.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him: @PharosMAK
Staying safe How to have a safe March and St. Patrick's Day: Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take the keys and help that person make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely Source: Logansport Police Department