Governor Eric J. Holcomb and Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Executive Director Devon McDonald presented 65 Indiana police officers with the Traffic Safety All-Star Award for working to save lives and put a stop to impaired driving. To qualify, the officer must have made at least 20 OWI arrests and participated in one of the state’s targeted enforcement campaigns during the previous year.
In total, the officers recognized made 3,163 OWI arrests across Indiana in 2020.
Locally in Marshall County, Mick Dockery with the Bremen Post of the Indiana State Police was credited with 154 OWI arrests, Trooper Benjamin Beers with the Bremen Post of the ISP had 103 arrests and Plymouth Police Officer Jerrid Arnold arrested 28 individuals.
The recipients were nominated by their departments as some of the top officers for OWI enforcement. In addition to their normal patrols, they often worked overtime picking up extra shifts during state and national enforcement periods – one of which is kicking off this week: the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization.
In Indiana, drunk driving has been on the rise. Of the 898 traffic fatalities that occurred last year in the state, 151, or 17 percent, were alcohol related. That’s up from 130 in 2019. During Labor Day weekend alone, there were 12 fatal collisions with one involving a driver over the legal limit.
In Indiana, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. In addition, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to one year. Consequences of impaired driving can include thousands of dollars in legal fees, increased insurance rates, loss of license, a criminal record and possible jail time.
To avoid those, plan a safe and sober ride home before going out. Even if only one drink is consumed, designate a sober driver or plan to use a rideshare service, public transportation or taxi. Motorists that encounter a drunk driver on the road are encouraged to call 911.