State Highway Patrol increasing response to impaired driving this weekend

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is cracking down on impaired driving this weekend to prevent accidents resulting from inebriated driving after Fourth of July weekend celebrations.

“Motorists can 100% expect to see increased presence this holiday weekend,” said Lt. Ray Santiago of the State Highway Patrol. “We’re just making sure that we have an increased presence and making sure that people are getting to and from their destinations safely.”

Between Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4 of last year, Ohio state troopers made 138 impaired driving arrests. Of the 10 fatal crashes and 12 deaths of the period, 9 crashes and 11 fatalities involved drugs or alcohol. This is in addition to the deaths of four motorcyclists, two pedestrians and a bicyclist.

Preliminary numbers are looking better this year, according to Santiago. Five fatal crashes have been reported so far between the 3rd and 4th of this year, down 50% from last year.

In addition, over 200 OVI arrests have been made so far, compared to 138 last year, which Santiago said “goes to show our folks are out there.”

This comes two weeks after the Patrol and Montgomery County OVI Task Force ran sobriety checkpoints across Dayton and Montgomery County last week.

Michelle Moser, Montgomery County OVI Task Force Coordinator, said that more checkpoints are planned for the rest of the summer, as well as more Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over programming.

The Patrol’s increased visibility is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign. The period of increased Patrol visibility began Wednesday and will run through 11:59 p,m. on Sunday, July 7. Both the Montgomery County Task Force and the State Highway Patrol will have increased presence through the weekend.

The patrol is encouraging residents to designate a sober driver and, if they see impaired drivers, drug activity, or stranded motorists, to call #677.

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