Clermont County ranks sixth in the state of Ohio for drinking and driving arrests.
During the 23-month period from January 2005 – November 2006, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s office issued citations to and arrested 615 people for operating a vehicle while impaired in the county.
According to a Ohio State Highway Patrol report released Dec. 27, the three counties that rank among the state’s worst for DUI are local counties. Franklin, with a total of more than 800 people arrested (the most in the state), Clermont (615), and Butler (569).
“Drunk driving remains a serious problem in the state,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Lieutenant Paul Hermes. “Although we had a very safe holiday season (nobody was killed in an Ohio alcohol-related crash this year), the suburban counties in the greater Cincinnati area still rank among the worst for this problem.”
The police are aware that drinking and driving is a persistent problem, one that they are more than willing to keep fighting, Hermes said.
Rodenberg cites the county's demographics as a primary reason for the high number of OVI arrests.
"The problem is huge in Clermont because many people have to drive through our area to get to other places in the Cincinnati area to drink in bars," he said. "There are really not many neighborhood bars that people can just walk to."
Drinking and driving arrests are also high because there is no mass public transportation in the county, Rodenberg explained.
The state patrol's report showed that this year's Christmas holiday weekend experienced no alcohol-related fatalities, but there were a total of 383 drunk-driving arrests in the state, which is 100 more than last year at this time.
Rodenberg stresses that the numbers in the county do not necessarily indicate that rural counties have a higher average of drunken drivers than other more suburban counties.
"It just means that as a result of some of the the aforementioned reasons, they are getting caught in Clermont while driving home through the county."