Michiana police encourage drivers to stay safe this holiday seas - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana police encourage drivers to stay safe this holiday season

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With St. Patrick's Day on Monday and March basketball games in progress, Michiana police will be stepping up their DUI patrols.  Police want to encourage drivers, if they plan on drinking, to call a cab or have a designated driver.  Checkpoints  will be set up between the hours of 10pm and 2am to help detour, and catch drunk drivers.

Mishawaka Police Lieutenant, Tim Williams says they want everyone to have an enjoyable, but safe time while they celebrate the different events happening this month. "Our goal is to get people not to drink and drive," Williams said, "so we can prevent that tragic event that could happen."

St. Patrick's Day weekend is traditionally a busy time for area police.  Mishawaka police said in the past, they have had over 30 DUI's during the holiday weekend.

They don't want the number to be that high this weekend.  "We really don't want to have to make that many arrests.  Personally, we'd rather not have to arrest anybody at all," said Williams, "because one we know and understand it affects them.  They're getting arrested for the crime, they gotta pay for an attorney, worry about insurance costs.  Most importantly it can affect not just them but their families."

Williams also added that due to weather the roads won't be in great condition.  He said because of it getting colder Friday night and through the weekend there's the possibility for black ice.  "When you add alcohol and ice together, especially when you're driving that's gonna be a tragic event."

This DUI enforcement increase is funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.  The blitz will run until March 23rd.

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