CRASH SCENE FROM HEAD-ON COLLISION ON INDIANA TOLL ROAD. Toxicology reports found driver going wrong way had high alcohol and drug levels

Indiana had more drugged drivers in fatal crashes than drunk drivers in 2018

Contributed By:The 411 News

July 4th holiday travelers reminded to designate a sober driver

A report published this week finds high rates of fatal crashes involving drugged drivers.

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) partners with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute to analyze crash statistics for the annual Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fact Sheet, which is available at www.in.gov/cji/files/Impaired_Driving_Fact_Sheet2018.pdf.

After a crash involving death or serious bodily injury, the responding law-enforcement agency is required to offer a portable breath test or blood test to the drivers involved.

In 2018, more drivers tested positive for drugs after a fatal crash than were alcohol impaired. Among drivers killed in fatal collisions who had reported drug and alcohol test results, 38 percent were alcohol impaired and 45 percent tested positive for one or more drugs.

Rates of alcohol-impaired crashes in Indiana were highest on weekends between midnight and 4 a.m., the same time when the rate of traffic deaths and serious injuries were highest.

Vehicle drivers made up two thirds of road users killed in alcohol-impaired crashes.

There were 83 people killed in alcohol-impaired collisions, representing 10 percent of Indiana’s nearly 830 traffic fatalities.

Males accounted for 73 percent of all drivers in Indiana fatal crashes, 19 percent of whom were reported to be legally impaired.

Independence Day
AAA and mobility analytics company INRIX predict that 41.4 million Americans will travel by car this week for the Independence Day holiday, a 4.3 percent increase from last year. Drivers making their way home from summer festivities must remember that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under age 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a driver’s license suspension for up to one year.

Impaired driving can also include prescription and illegal drugs. Even over-the-counter medication can cause impairment, especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs. Anyone taking a new or higher dose of a drug should speak with their doctor about driving or avoid it until they know the effect the drug could have.

Report impaired drivers
If you see an impaired driver, turn off the road away from the vehicle and call 911. Signs of impaired driving include:
• Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line
• Driving at a very slow speed
• Braking erratically
• Making wide turns
• Stopping without cause
• Responding slowly to traffic signals
• Driving after dark with headlights off
• Closely missing an object or vehicle
• Turning abruptly or illegally
• Driving on the wrong side of the road

Drivers should also watch for impaired pedestrians who may not be paying attention to their surroundings.

Story Posted:07/03/2019

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