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 Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving 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, no one was killed in a traffic crash in Ohio on St. Patrick’s Day, the first time that this has occurred in at least the last five years. During this 24-hour period the Patrol made 142 OVI arrests.
“We want people to enjoy the celebration, but we encourage them to do so responsibly,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, 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 99 local law enforcement agencies around the state will be conducting enforcement activity, saturation patrols and 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.
Motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report drug activity or impaired drivers.