MONROE COUNTY, Ind.-- Law enforcement is warning against drinking and driving this New Year's Eve and on the look out for anyone driving impaired.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a third of all fatal vehicle crashes in 2017 involved drunk drivers. They encourage you to find a designated driver or use a ride-share service to get home, even if only having one drink.
"Tonight we're looking for impaired drivers," Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy John Phares said as he patrolled Monday evening. "We look for, you know, brake lights not working, not using turn signals, following too closely, going too fast, hugging the yellow line, hugging the white line, the proverbial go all over the road."
He didn't have to look far on Dec. 22nd for a suspected impaired driver when one crashed into his patrol car.
"Well unfortunately he decided to turn left into my door," Deputy Phares said.
Bloomington Police investigators reported finding open containers of alcohol in the other driver's truck. The 29 year old's blood alcohol limit registered more than twice the legal limit. The driver was charged with operating while intoxicated and driving while suspended.
Just over the weekend, IMPD says a suspected drunk driver ran a stop light, ending with a crash with an officer's car. The officer was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
"Do not drink and drive," IMPD Sgt. Jim Gillespie said.
IMPD was expected to have more patrols out in areas like Broad Ripple and downtown to deter drunk driving, as well as areas prone to accidents.
"Do not get behind the wheel because ultimately that could cost you or someone else their life, or quite a bit of money," Sgt. Gillespie said.
Lyft in partnership with Downtown Indy, Inc. and Jack Daniels opened the Lyft Lounge on Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis until 4 a.m. New Year's Day. Riders could enjoy a heated outdoor space, hot chocolate, entertainment and giveaways before getting a free or discounted ride home.
"We want everybody to have a good time, but we want you to be safe too," Deputy Phares said.
Meanwhile in Monroe County, Deputy Phares was back on the road to make sure everyone follows the rules.