OSHP to ‘crack down’ on impaired drivers July 4 weekend

Staff file photo
Staff file photo

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State Highway Patrol plans to cracking down on impaired drivers during the Fourth of July weekend — June 30 through July 4, according to a state law enforcement news release.

OSHP reports its zero-tolerance policy is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign aimed at removing impaired drivers from the roadways.

Many Independence Day celebrations involve alcohol, which increases the possibility of drunk driving, according to OSHP. AAA is expecting nearly 1.9 million Ohioans to travel this weekend. Both of these factors can make roadways more dangerous compared to other weekends, so the OSHP urges motorists to drive carefully and follow all traffic laws.

During July 4 weekend last year, July 1 to July 4, a total of 12 fatal crashes killed 13 people, according to OSHP. This includes seven OVI-related fatal crashes that killed eight people. OSHP recorded 680 OVI arrests during the reporting period.

“Don’t risk losing your life or taking someone else’s this Fourth of July,” said Col. Paul A. Pride, a patrol superintendent. “Help make everyone’s holiday safe by planning a sober ride home.”

OSHP also urges drivers to buckle up. The state law enforcement agency reports 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants wore seat belts in 2015, almost 50 percent of of fatal crashes occupants are not restrained, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. During the July 4 holiday last year, five of the 13 people killed in Ohio were not wearing seat belts.

OSHP asks motorists to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.