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March 11, 2013

Local law enforcement cracks down on drunk driving this month

LPD, CCSD launch two-week initiative

The Logansport Police Department and Cass County Sheriff’s Department are joining law enforcement agencies across the state to crack down on impaired driving over the next two weeks.

The initiative, called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, began Friday and will continue through March 24, spanning over a number of sporting events and St. Patrick’s Day.

Over the next two weeks, law enforcement officers will be implementing sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and other methods designed to detect impaired drivers.

Maj. Jill Rife with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department said a saturation patrol is made up of several officers out on patrol looking for drunk driving and aggressive driving.

Cass County Sheriff Randy Pryor said there were 6,264 alcohol-related collisions in Indiana last year, with 97 fatalities. In March alone of last year, there were 524 alcohol-related collisions, 33 of which occurred on St. Patrick’s Day.

Rife said the Cass County Sheriff’s Department made 12 operating-while-intoxicated arrests in March last year.

When asked if this time of year created an increased need for this kind of enforcement, Rife said there is always a need, but that the weather along with sporting events and holidays likely played roles in the timing of the initiative.

“There’s always the need,” Rife said. “The weather this time of the year is always a big factor too. St. Patrick’s Day is a popular day for people to party.”

Mike Morphet, assistant chief of the Logansport Police Department, said the LPD made six operating-while-intoxicated arrests in March of last year. He said he feels initiatives like this are having a positive impact.

“I think people are using more common sense now, designating a driver and being cautious about it, with the enforcement efforts that have been used over the last several years,” Morphet said. “I hope people will continue to use common sense and stay safe and don’t put themselves in a position where they injure someone or get themselves into trouble.”

The initiative is funded by the state and administered by the Traffic Safety division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or

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