The Ohio State Highway Patrol is increasing its efforts to enforce safety on the roadways and prevent drunk driving.
Reports show that last year there were 13,919 OVI related crashes on Ohio roadways, killing 397 people and injuring an additional 8,517. Sergeant Clark Felix said these numbers are unacceptable and need to be reduced.
"It’s not just our problem, it’s everyone’s problem, everybody needs to talk to their friends if they’re having parties at home or just family get together or wherever and just let each other know that’s not safe to do," said Sgt. Felix.
The sergeant said aside from increased patrolling, they will also be implementing more OVI checkpoints over the next couple years. He said just because you feel fine after a few drinks, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re okay to drive.
"Just a couple of beers or a couple of drinks you may not test over the per say limit, which is .08 here in the state of Ohio, but it still does affect your reflexes, the way you react to things even without testing over the legal limit," he said.
Punishments for being convicted of an OVI can include fines, possible jail time, and a steep climb in insurance rates. He said it’s simply not worth it to do.
"If you are going to do that, how would you feel if a member of your family or close friend were to be struck by a drunk driver," said Sgt. Felix.
The public is encouraged to call the State Highway Patrol at 1-888-7-PATROL to report any dangerous, impaired, or stranded motorists.