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February 26, 2014

Local law enforcement to crack down on drunken driving

Operation Pullover starts Friday

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.

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