March Madness is here yet again; a series of sacred basketball games for Hoosiers across the state. This year, St. Patrick’s day lands on the first day of the NCAA tournament games in Indianapolis–cause for even more celebratory parties. As we all know, weekends known for celebrations come along with increased patrols by state and local law enforcement agencies.
Last year, in the month of March alone, impaired drivers caused 495 alcohol related crashes. These crashes caused 231 injuries and 11 fatalities– and these were only the crashes that involved an impaired driver. There were an additional 1,128 collisions, resulting in over 200 injuries and 2 deaths due to dangerous driving (driving too quickly for weather conditions, fatigued driving, distracted driving) that month as well. The statistics are scary, and at Tabor Law Firm we see how often impaired drivers cause accidents resulting in life changing injuries and tragic deaths, and the impact these accidents have on grieving loved ones.
This year, law enforcement agencies will be working to make our roadways safer in 2017 thanks to Federal funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). This will allow 250 Indiana State and local law enforcement agencies to conduct sobriety checkpoint stops and observational patrols around the clock.
If you or a loved one are seriously injured by a drunk driver, what should you do?
It’s important to dial 911 immediately following any accident-whether it involves a drunk driver or not. You’ll want to get a formal accident report from the police at the scene. Tell them everything you witnessed, if you’re conscious and able to. Let the police know that you suspect the driver to be impaired. Take down witness names and contact information. If you have your smart phone on hand, even better; take photos or video to capture any evidence which suggests the driver is impaired. This could include the driver hiding bottles or using eye drops for bloodshot eyes caused by alcohol or illicit drugs.