Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: Motorists urged to find safe, responsible ways home

Montgomery County averages 21 OVI-related fatal crashes over last 3 years

Local and state law enforcement agencies are urging motorists to be responsible and drive sober.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is scheduled to start Wednesday and run through Labor Day weekend.

Montgomery County Safe Communities Coalition, AAA, local law enforcement and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are all part of the nationwide campaign reminding motorists to find a safe way home if they’re impaired.

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Lt. Geoffry Freeman, post commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Dayton post, said many people don’t realize OVIs aren’t just limited to driving under the influence of alcohol.

“Usually when people hear the term OVI or impaired driving, they automatically think alcohol, which it is, but there’s also another component to that, which is drugged driving,” he said. “Drugged driving is driving under the influence of any prescription medication or any over-the-counter drug that impairs your driving.”

For example, Nyquil or Percocet are two drugs that could result in impairment.

In 2021, the Ohio Department of Public Safety has reported more than 6,000 alcohol-related crashes, 163 of which were fatal.

In Montgomery County, there have been 13 OVI-related fatalities this year and 24 in 2020, Freeman said. In the last three years the county’s average is 21.

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“Those numbers are pretty high in my opinion because the amount of information we put out and the education we do for impaired driving,” he said. “The message of this is pretty simple: if you’re going to drink alcohol or if you’re going to take your medications, don’t drive your vehicle.”

With resources such as Uber, taxis and designated drivers, Freeman said there’s no excuse for driving impaired.

“If you drive impaired, there is no break,” he said. “You will be arrested if you’re caught, and you will face criminal charges.”

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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