Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties here in Indiana have the dubious distinction of being the top in the nation for drunk driving fatalities. According to a recent review by the newspaper in Munster, 140 of the 373 fatal crashes in these counties (between 2010-2014) involved drunk driving. This is 35 percent, which is considerably higher than the rest of the state’s average of 25 percent and the national average of 28 percent.
Why so dangerous?
Some believe the amount of drinking may be because of the casinos nearby. However, traffic investigations for the Lake County Sheriff’s office points to heavy traffic and bad weather as exasperating the already impaired ability of intoxicated drivers’ to operate a vehicle safely. The state is cracking down
State officials and law enforcement are well aware of what’s going on in the Northwest part of the state, and have taken measures to step up enforcement. The state is spending $2 million this year specifically targeted to drunk driving and traffic violations through such programs as the DUI Task Force, Operation Pull Over and the Summer Impaired Driving Enforcement. This is on top of several million more spent on patrolling the state’s roads where law enforcement issued 5,280 misdemeanor DUIs and 686 felony DUIs in 2017.
Those drivers caught up in checkpoints or pulled over still have rights. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the stop. While our law enforcement is well trained, they do make mistakes in conducting roadside tests and executing the complex protocols necessary for protecting the rights of drivers.