Columbus Police announce sobriety checkpoints downtown and in Arena District

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The Columbus Division of Police says officers will be out Friday night and into Saturday, trying to catch impaired drivers at two checkpoints.

The first will be operated on Livingston Ave. at S. Grant Ave. near the Downtown area, and the second will be operated on Neil Ave. at W. Nationwide Blvd. in the Arena District.

The first checkpoint is scheduled to operate on Friday, April 22 between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The second checkpoint is scheduled to operate on Saturday, April 23 between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.

During a five-year period between 2011 and 2015, police say, 4.6 percent of the non-freeway crashes reported to Columbus Police involved an impaired driver.

“The locations for each sobriety checkpoint demonstrate a clear statistical need to raise public awareness of the impaired-driver problem,” said Columbus Police Traffic Bureau Sergeant Michael Smith.

The first location, Livingston Ave. at S. Grant Ave., was selected because three intersections along a two-mile portion of Livingston Ave. have impaired driving crash rates above six percent. Additionally, the rates at these intersections have increased from the previous year.
The second location, Neil Ave. at W. Nationwide Blvd., was selected because three intersections along a one-mile portion of Neil Ave. have impaired driving crash rates between 7 and 22 percent. Other nearby intersections in the Arena District have rates as high as 33 percent.

“These are major arterial roadways with freeway access through both residential and business districts, and are coupled with significant rates of impaired driving crashes,” Smith noted.

To supplement these checkpoint operations, Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers will be utilized for any drug-impaired driver investigation.

“Sobriety checkpoints serve as continual reminders to drink responsibly,” Smith said.

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