News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 16, 2013

EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news: Keeping drunken drivers off roads

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Here’s something to remember. Big law-enforcement campaigns such as the increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints that start today in Vigo County are not about drinking. There are about drinking and driving.

No one is asking you to stop drinking alcohol while enjoying your summer holidays. What they are saying, however, is that if you carry your alcohol consumption to the irresponsible level of getting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle, you not only risk your life and health, as well as the lives and health of others, but you risk being pulled over by police and treated to a taste of aggressive justice if you test over the legal blood-alcohol limit.

The Operation Pull Over Blitz is part of a national campaign and is being supported locally through the Labor Day weekend by the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department, Terre Haute and West Terre Haute police departments, Indiana State Police and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

There are good reasons to applaud the participation of local agencies.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 32,300 people were killed nationwide in 2011 as the result of vehicle crashes. Of those, 9.878 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher.

In Indiana in 2011, there were 188,100 vehicle crashes. Of those, 4,938 involved impaired drivers, and resulted in 140 deaths.

In 2012, there were 150 fatal alcohol-impaired collisions in Indiana, amounting to almost 21 percent of all fatal collisions.

Fortunately, there were no alcohol-related crashes during the Labor Day weekend in Vigo County last year. Let’s hope the intense enforcement effort helps the county repeat that result this year.

Reader poll results

Recently, the Reader Poll at asked:

How should Indiana’s state school superintendent be selected?

Results: 318 votes were cast.

• By voters in an election — 259 votes, 81.45 percent

• By the governor — 49 votes, 15.41 percent

• Not sure — 10 votes, 3.14 percent