State police prepare for impaired drivers

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TERRE HAUTE Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – During the month of March Indiana State Police along with local authorities participate in the annual ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign.

Police are ramping up their forces in March because of two major holidays, St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA tournament.

ISP Sergeant Matt Ames said last year in the state of Indiana over 400 crashes occurred during this time with 5 resulting in a casualty.

Local and state authorities aren’t the only ones bracing themselves for more calls involving intoxicated drivers, local emergency services will be impacted by these too.

Transcare paramedic Matt Willhan said he can’t count the times he has arrived to the scene of an accident and the driver was under the influence.

“The most common thing that we see is car wrecks. Unfortunately I have been on some fatality car wrecks that have stuck in my mind.”

Ames said in their line of work some of the things they see stick with them.

“They ran off the roadway  and struck a tree and when I got to the accident scene they said the drivers down there you’ll need to locate him,” Ames said. “He told me ‘you want to look up,’ so I get down to the vehicle, I don’t see any individuals inside of the vehicle, and then I remember that the county deputy told me. When I looked up there was an individual that that was stuck in a tree, in a fork, because they had their sunroof open.”

Ames said this story stuck with him through the years because it was a prime example of what alcohol can do to your decision skills.

“When they start to consume alcohol they become overconfident in themselves and their abilities, and by doing that, they start to gain more and more speed thinking it was so much fun and it cost them their life.”

According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, of the 433 crashes in 2019, 15% of them occurred during the st. Patrick’s day weekend alone.

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