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March 11, 2013

Drunk driving campaign in full swing this month

— Last Friday marked the beginning of the 16-day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign that involves more than 250 law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

Don Bickel, director of Marion County Traffic Safety Partnership, works with local agencies to coordinate the county’s campaign.

Bickel said the partnership represents the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), Beech Grove, Lawrence, Speedway, and Cumberland agencies, while also working with the Indiana State Police District 52.

He said this particular campaign is funded through grants.

“The blitzes are funded through the Governor’s Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving,” Bickel said. “This ... funding (is) through an Operation Pullover grant that we received that funds local agencies. This particular blitz, which started on March 8 and which will conclude on March 24, is geared to impaired driving and aggressive driving.”

Bickel said part of what he does is help the agencies secure the funding.

“We obtain the grant funding,” he said. “My office is within the Marion County Prosecutor’s office. I obtain the funding for all different types of traffic safety grants. I then designate the type of enforcement we’ll do and I work with each department as a coordinator and we will coordinate efforts and basically we’ll set up DUI patrols. We do other things throughout the whole year, this is just a blitz period.”

He added that officers from all of the agencies work together during these types of blitzes.

“The enforcement efforts that we do are multi-jurisdictional, so we’ll have officers involved from all the agencies,” Bickel said. “They’ll be working for the aggressive driving part of the blitz at high crash areas

throughout Marion County. For the DUI part of the blitz, we’ll be working high crash DUI areas, that’ll be saturation patrols along with DUI checkpoints. We do have the holiday coming in, St. Patrick’s

Day. We’re running check points throughout the weekend, along with saturation patrols.”

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