Safe Family Travel enforcement program locates impaired driver with five children in vehicle

Safe Family Travel

On day one of the Thanksgiving holiday “Safe Family Travel” enforcement patrol, the Indiana State Police arrested an impaired driver on US 30, driving with five unrestrained children in the car.

Indiana State Police news release:

“Safe Family Travel” Holiday Enforcement Patrol Interdicts Impaired Driver with Five Unrestrained Children

Whitley County, Indiana (November 24, 2021) – This morning, on day one of the special Thanksgiving holiday enforcement patrol coined “Safe Family Travel”, troopers from the Fort Wayne Post arrested an impaired driver on US30, driving with five unrestrained children in the car.

At approximately 10:30am, Sergeant Kris Coffey was patrolling on US30 west of Columbia City when he observed a 2008 Dodge Charger passenger car traveling at 83mph. A subsequent traffic stop was conducted on US30 east of CR450W, at which time Sgt. Coffey discovered that there were five unrestrained children (ages 4-11) occupying the back seat area.

While speaking with the driver, Allen Watson, 32, of Fort Wayne, Sgt. Coffey learned that the family was traveling back to Fort Wayne from Chicago. A strong odor of marijuana coming from the passenger compartment along with Watson displaying signs of impairment, led to further investigation for operating while intoxicated.

Ultimately, Allen Watson was arrested on several charges related to impaired driving and drug possession. He was transported to the Whitley County Jail, where he was booked into custody on the following preliminary criminal charges:

  1. (5 Counts)- OWI w/Passengers Under 18yrs of age; Level 6 Felony
  2. (1 Count) – Possession of Marijuana; B Misdemeanor

Watson’s wife and their five children were transported to the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, where they were picked up by family members (with the required child safety seats) and then transported home to Fort Wayne.

The “Safe Family Travel” enforcement patrol is focused on detecting and removing impaired drivers from our Indiana roadways, and also targeting unrestrained drivers and passengers, an effort intended to reduce incidents of fatal crashes and make travel safer over the holidays. Troopers will be participating in this patrol for the next six weeks.

All criminal suspects are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and all criminal charges listed in this release are preliminary, with final charging to be determined by the Whitley County Prosecutor.

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