COLUMBUS — The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be out in full force cracking down on impaired drivers the entire Fourth of July weekend, which begins today, June 30 and ends Tuesday, July 4. Their zero-tolerance policy is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign aimed at removing impaired drivers from the roadways.
Many Fourth of July celebrations involve alcohol, which increases the possibility of drunk driving. In addition, American Automobile Association (AAA) is expecting nearly 1.9 million Ohioans to travel this weekend. Both of these factors can make roadways more dangerous compared to other weekends, so the Patrol urges motorists to drive carefully and follow all traffic laws.
During last year’s Fourth of July reporting period from July 1-4, a total of 12 fatal crashes killed 13 people. This includes seven OVI-related fatal crashes that killed eight people. The Patrol recorded 680 OVI arrests during the reporting period.
“Don’t risk losing your life or taking someone else’s this Fourth of July,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “Help make everyone’s holiday safe by planning a sober ride home.”
The Patrol also urges drivers to buckle up. While 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes are not restrained, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. During the 2016 Fourth of July holiday, five of the 13 individuals killed in Ohio were not wearing safety belts.
Motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.