State and federal officials announce the delivery of 1,758 portable breath tests to assist 150 local law-enforcement agencies across Indiana. The breathalyzers were purchased with just over $750,000 in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) impaired-driving funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department was awarded 10 new portable breath tests and the Plymouth Police Department was awarded 5.
“NHTSA is proud to be part of this very large purchase of portable breath tests, which will help fight the scourge of impaired driving,” said John Balser, NHTSA regional deputy administrator. “Thank you to the ICJI and forward-thinking law-enforcement agencies across Indiana for your participation in this effort.”
Law-enforcement officers are receiving the new Alco-Sensor FSTs, mouthpieces and gas canisters used to calibrate the readings. The new devices include passive sniffers that can sense alcohol in the air around a person or an open container. Over the coming year, an additional $310,000 is budgeted to purchase 725 breathalyzers for Indiana State Police posts.
“More state, county and local law-enforcement officers across Indiana will have updated portable breath tests to help establish probable cause when arresting drunk drivers,” said ICJI Executive Director Dave Murtaugh. “Officers will put these devices to good use this coming holiday season to ensure motorists celebrate responsibly and reach family and friends safely.”
NHTSA grants administered by ICJI will fund overtime patrols leading up to – and through – the Thanksgiving travel holiday. More than 230 law-enforcement agencies across Indiana will be conducting sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and saturation patrols.
In every state and the District of Columbia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.
Police will be arresting impaired drivers and aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger. A DUI arrest means going to jail and losing your driver’s license. The average DUI cost? About $10,000, including car towing and repairs, attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work and other hefty expenses.
For more information, visit http://one.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.