Fewer traffic crashes & alcohol-related arrests

There were fewer traffic crashes and alcohol-related arrests in St. Joseph County last year compared to 2022.

Undersheriff Jason Bingaman provided a wealth of data to St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners during their monthly meeting Tuesday. Bingaman was in attendance to give the sheriff’s department’s 2023 annual report.

According to information provided by Bingaman, there were 611 crashes in the county in 2023, down from 766 the year before. He said 343 were non-injury, while 168 were with injury last year.

There were nine fatal car crashes in the county last year, an increase from seven in 2022.

Meanwhile, deputies arrested 48 people for operating while intoxicated last year, down from 56 the year previous. The 48 arrests were a four-year low, in fact.

Also, there were 245 car-deer incidents reported last year, one more than the 244 called in during 2022. Both were down from a four-year high of 478 in 2021.

Its jail, meanwhile, had a daily population of 118 inmates last year. The facility is designed to hold 165 people, Bingaman said.

He estimated as many as 70 percent of the jail population has either mental health or substance-abuse challenges.

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