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I was very glad to read that the Indiana State Police are going to start “Operation Pullover” today. The goal of “Operation Pullover” is to catch drunk and impaired drivers before they cause traffic accidents that cause injury or death to others, so I applaud the State Police for this.

During the campaign, which runs until Sept. 1, officers will work overtime to conduct sobriety checkpoints, roaming patrols and use other enforcement tools in an effort to find impaired drivers.

In 2007, over the Labor Day holiday, Indiana had 11 deaths. As of Thursday, Indiana had 454 traffic-related fatalities, down 114 from the same period last year.

I have represented too many people who have either been seriously injured or suffered the tragic death of a family member because of drunk drivers. In fact, I just attended a hearing yesterday in the criminal prosecution of a drunk driver who severely injured one of my clients. People don’t appreciate the danger they pose to others when they have a few drinks and then get behind the wheel of a car. Accidents can happen in a split second, and when you are driving a 3,000 pound vehicle at 60 miles per hour, the effects can,and often are, devastating.

According to the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, alcohol related motor vehicle accidents kill someone every 31 minutes, and injure someone every two minutes in the United States. Once the accident occurs, it is too late for the legal system to undo the damage. All that can be done is to punish the drunk driver criminally, and hold him or her responsible for the damages they caused in a civil court. That is why drunk driving prevention is so important. By pro-actively putting more police officers on the streets and catching the drunk drivers before accidents happen, we can hopefully save lives and prevent unnecessary heartache for many, many families out there.

So, let’s hear it for “Operation Pullover!!”

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