The State Highway Patrol is hoping to round out the year with a safe holiday weekend.
Sergeant Clark Felix said drivers can expect to see extra patrol on the roads starting Saturday.
"We’ll see some increase in traffic probably starting tomorrow afternoon with travelers coming in to visit family," said Felix. "There will also be a little more partying with more bar traffic and more impaired drivers."
Felix said 1,300 more OVI arrests have been made statewide compared to last year, and those arrests are partially responsible for the reduced number of fatal accidents in Ohio.
"I don’t know if they’ve become more responsible, but I think with today’s economy, the price of alcohol is expensive, especially if you go out to drink, so I think it has slowed down somewhat," said Felix.
He said 39 people across the state lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes during last year’s holiday season. Felix said the patrol will be looking for drunk drivers, but OVI check points will not be the method of enforcement.
"We actually haven’t had any check points during the New Year’s holiday," said Felix. "Those are usually during the summer months when it’s a little warmer outside, because those guys spend hours standing outside, and we don’t want them out there in the rain and snow if the weather should get bad. We want to make sure it’s a safe environment for them also."
Felix said if you’re going to drink alcohol this weekend, be sure to designate a driver or call a cab for a ride home.