COLUMBUS — As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging drivers to designate a sober driver before the party begins. The patrol will be working with local law enforcement to remove impaired drivers as part of the National Highway Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular night to celebrate with friends and family. However, due to impaired drivers, it has also become a very dangerous night on Ohio’s roadways. Last year, impaired drivers killed five of the six people that lost their lives during the 24-hour reporting period over St. Patrick’s Day. During this same time period, the Patrol made 215 OVI arrests.
“We want people to enjoy the celebration, but we encourage them to do so responsibly,” said Colonel John Born, Patrol superintendent. “Don’t press your luck — designate a sober driver.”
To prevent deaths and injuries, the Patrol is partnering with local law enforcement and safety advocates around the state to increase enforcement on Ohio’s roads and remind people to plan ahead to designate a sober driver. More than 78 local law enforcement agencies around the state will be conducting more than 2,100 hours of enforcement activity and 1,900 hours of saturation patrols in addition to 15 sobriety checkpoints, funded by federal grants provided through the Patrol’s Ohio Traffic Safety Office.
For bars and permit holders, over-serving or serving underage customers could also mean costly fines, suspension or revocation of their liquor permit. The Ohio Investigative Unit and other safety partners have been working to educate motorists and permit holders of these consequences in advance reminding people of the dangers of driving impaired, and that over-serving is against the law.
As always, motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report drug activity or impaired drivers.