Indiana State Police are stepping up patrol for Thanksgiving trips

INDIANAPOLIS — The goal of the Indiana State Police this holiday season is to prevent Indiana families from suffering a heartbreak due to reckless and drunk driving.

“The last thing we want to do, especially during the holiday season, is knock on a family’s door and share bad information,” said Sgt. Matt Ames.

State Police are ready to step up patrols to keep the streets safe for Thanksgiving. Especially drunk drivers.

“That’s exactly my trauma, getting that call in the middle of the night,” said Yolanda Coriano, Julian Tinoco’s mother.

Yolanda received this unnerving call on December 10th that her son had died in an accident.

“I just wake up and feel like I’m in a nightmare. I just understand that, confuse it and realize it’s real,” Coriano said.

Her son Julian was hit by a drunk driver just a mile from his home.

“It’s not supposed to be like that. That was a 20-year-old kid,” Coriano said. “Had a whole life to live. Did the right thing in college. He was on his way home.

The pain she feels is still buried inside her every day without her son.

“Thinking about Thanksgiving. Because from Thanksgiving we lead to the knowledge that that day is coming. Another anniversary, another year that he’s gone. Something changes in a year, and your heart,” Coriano said.

That’s why Coriano said ISP’s efforts to prevent reckless and impaired driving are so important this time of year.

“It means we know that this is what’s out there on the streets and what people are doing,” Coriano said.

“This allows our officers to patrol outside looking for drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, people not wearing seat belts and distracted driving,” Ames said.

Safe Family Travel begins before Thanksgiving every year and continues through New Year’s Day.

This additional enforcement is funded with grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

“ISP wants everyone to have a happy Thanksgiving holiday season, but we want to make sure you do it safely. Please help us keep the streets safe for everyone,” Ames said.

In Indiana, 932 people died on the streets last year, a 4% increase from 2020. State police say 12 of those deaths occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday season.