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Drunk driving deaths down across Indiana, study says

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FISHERS, Ind. — A new national report says drunk driving deaths are down across Indiana.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving deaths went down 13% in 2018 from 2017.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department began increasing the amount of DUI checkpoints throughout the year this year, and they hope that helps those numbers continue to trend south. They also say the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute has given them more funding over the past two years to combat DUI offenses.

“They are actually paying more attention to what's going on out there because the police are out there looking for them," said Pam Kelshaw with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Kelshaw says MADD has been putting more DUI offenders in front of victims as part of their panel discussion sessions. They are court-ordered for offenders, and Kelshaw says it creates perspective for people who drive drunk. Kelshaw lost her daughter 17 years ago to a drunk driver, and she lost her nephew 5 years ago to a drugged driver.

“I might just be the body and the mouth doing the talking, but she’s the one that gives me the strength to do what needs to be done," Kelshaw said of her daughter Silina.

IMPD says drivers can expect to see more roaming officers in the near future. The department is about to get a new funding cycle this week with some of that money going to increased patrols, especially on football Sundays.

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