COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Troopers are reminding Ohioans to designate a driver this holiday weekend.
Ohio Highway Patrol vehicles will be out in full force through Sunday to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for drunk drivers, as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign.
Last Independence Day, the patrol made 749 arrests during the holiday weekend in Ohio. Of the 11 crashes that resulted in 12 deaths across the state, four were OVI-related.
Troopers consider drunk driving an epidemic in America. More than 10,000 people were killed in OVI-related crashes in 2013 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. During the Fourth of July weekend, about 39 percent of all fatal crashes involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
The palso urges drivers to buckle up; more than 9,500 fatalities in 2013 involved unbuckled occupants.
In partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation, the patrol will be displaying digital billboards across the state displaying traffic deaths. As of the last week of June, there have been 496 traffic deaths in Ohio; 77 more deaths in 2015 than a year ago. Officials hope the 130 signs posted will impact driver behaviors.
To report impaired drivers or drug activity, contact the Ohio Highway Patrol at #677.