WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Police agencies across the area are beefing up patrols starting Friday, leading up to the holidays.
Officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and to make sure people are wearing seat belts. All four Tippecanoe County agencies are paying officers overtime to take on extra shifts over the next four weeks.
Lafayette Police Sgt. Will Carpenter said the goal is not to lock people up, but to keep people safe on the road. He said drinking and driving is a choice and every alcohol-related crash is avoidable.
“There’s a lot of opportunities to get home that doesn’t include driving your own car,” Carpenter said. “Make those plans before you leave. Make it a habit to make those plans. Make it a habit to find another way home.”
He said if officers had it their way, they would never have to make a drunken driving arrest.
“A lot of what we do is trying to educate the public. Try to get them to know that we are out there,” Carpenter said. “Hopefully, they will recognize that and they will adjust their own behavior.”
According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, in November 2015 there were 533 alcohol-related crashes in Indiana. Seven people died.