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State Police Amp Up DUI Patrols

Last updated on Thursday, August 14, 2008

(UNDATED) - State police kick off an 18-day DUI crackdown Friday, with special attention to Indiana’s Hispanic community.

253 Hoosiers died in alcohol-related crashes last year. 11 of them died in the five days leading up to Labor Day, making it the second-deadliest period of the year.

Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints in each of the 18 state police districts. And the Marion County Traffic Safety Partnership plans six checkpoints in Indianapolis. Police will also put more officers on patrol, using federal grants to pay for overtime.

Juana Watson with the state's Office of Hispanic and Latino Affairs says the state will reach out to 22 Latino resource centers around the state to spread the word that drunken driving is a crime. She says many Latin American immigrants have brought with them a culture that makes not only drinking, but drinking and driving, socially acceptable.

Watson says in her native Mexico, DUI laws were loosely enforced, especially in rural areas which couldn't afford breathalyzer technology. "When you can get away with something, you go ahead and do it. It's human nature," Watson says.

Police say DUI rates among Hispanics in Indiana are disproportionately high.

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