Sobriety checkpoints net impaired drivers

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Indianapolis - Sobriety checkpoints by state police Thursday night resulted in dozens of arrests around central Indiana.

Troopers conducted the checkpoint, as well as driving while impaired patrols Thursday evening into the early morning hours Friday. Twenty-three drivers were arrested for misdemeanor DWI, along with two felony arrests. There were 17 other alcohol-related arrests.

Four people were arrested on active warrants, 22 were arrested for criminal misdemeanors and eight were arrested for criminal felonies. Troopers issued 278 traffic citations and 218 traffic warnings, as well as 17 traffic tickets for trucks over 10,000 pounds.

The patrols were within the Indianapolis District, which includes Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion and Shelby counties. Police say they will continue the patrols for the duration of the year.

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While you were sleeping, Metro Police were out in force, looking for drunk drivers.

Police in Marion County used sobriety checkpoints to keep St Patrick's Day revelers in check. They found a lot of people who shouldn't have been behind the wheel. WTHR's news crew was with Indiana State Police on the south side, where they made dozens of arrests mostly for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Troopers chose the location near Madison and Thompson - a very busy place - with several bars close by, full of people celebrating. They set up a roadblock, and drivers suspected of being under the influence were put through sobriety tests. Many had trouble walking heel to toe or standing on one foot.

Officers say almost everyone says the same thing. They only had two drinks, but many times, it turns out they had much more than that. A few were in tears after learning they were going to jail.

Troopers even chased after some drivers who turned around to avoid the checkpoint.

One driver admitted that she just left one bar, and was on her way to another, but police say she was in no shape to be driving. Troopers say many drivers will voice their frustration with DUI checkpoints.

"So far I've been watching the field sobriety tests, people being arrested and the typical response is they had two beers. They don't understand why we're going through with this because they don't feel like they're drunk," said Sgt Jeff Payne, Indiana State Police.

State Police, IMPD and Marion County held other checkpoints in different parts of the city until about 3:30 am.

When they release the stats from the arrests and charges, we'll report the numbers. This story will be updated with that information later.