It's that time of year. Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is set to begin in just a couple of days. The city is expecting a huge increase in visitors to the area and those large crowds typically mean a hefty number of arrests.
But there is an up side to those infractions. With thousands of people coming into the Valley, businesses will see more revenue. It may surprise some people to learn that, when the event is over, officials will also see additional funds.
Last year at Scheid Diesel Extravaganza, law enforcement handed out 305 citations. Most of them were for alcohol or traffic violations.
"Any time that you have such an increase in visitors to a specific area, you're going to have an increase in citations issued and alcohol offenses," said Vigo County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Clark Cottom.
Less serious violators do have an option on how to make good.
"On misdemeanor cases and on infractions, we have a program where they can essentially get a deferral," explained Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt.
This means paying a fine and sometimes completing community service, in exchange for the infraction staying off a criminal record. Some of the money goes to the state, but some of the money goes back to the Prosecutor's Office, where it can be distributed between law enforcement agencies.
"Obviously all these agencies are hurting for money so we're able to supplement their equipment and different things that they need," said Modesitt.
But the deferral program isn't a get out of jail free card.
"It's a situation that everyone should try to refrain from breaking the law because you'll have to deal with being arrested and go through the process. So, you know, my advice is have fun but don't break the law," said Modesitt.
A new ordinance this year lets law enforcement enforce traffic laws on the Vigo County Fairgrounds property. This includes speeding, reckless driving, unsafe start or tire squealing, and excessive smoke on public roadways.
The money from the program is used to buy new equipment for law enforcement. In the past it's been used to buy new cars, bullet proof vests, radar equipment and more.
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