ZANESVILLE, Ohio — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers about their crackdown on impaired driving ahead of next weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
37% of last year’s fatal accidents were a result of OVI’s, and Sergeant Todd Henry says that getting those impaired drivers off the road is a priority for their department.
OVI enforcement is one of our focused enforcement areas. Taking impaired drivers off the roadway is extremely important to us. Last year we had 423 people killed out of OVI crashes. We take it very serious, it’s important to take impaired drivers off the roadway, so that those things don’t happen and families don’t have to go through that,” said Henry.
Over the last five years, approximately 24,000 drivers per year are stopped due to OVI. Last year alone, there were 14,420 car crashes as a result of impaired driving– 72% of those drivers were male.
Sergeant Henry reminded folks about the amplified effects that drinking can have while taking prescription medication, and reiterated the importance of designating a sober driver before you go out, or finding an alternative ride home if nobody in your group is capable of driving.
“We have St. Patrick’s Day coming up next weekend, so we will be very vigilant and we’ll have extra units out. Be safe for us, call and arrange a ride, call a cab if you have to. We all have a friend, relative, or neighbor that we can call when we need something,” Henry added.
He also says that they try to be active in the public and community to spread awareness on the serious nature of the issue. The Highway Patrol holds teen car classes, OVI diversion courses, as well as partnering with local healthcare facilities providing information to those that are arrested for impaired driving.
Henry reminds the public that if you see any suspicious driving to contact the state highway patrol so the situation can be investigated before any incidents occur.