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While many of us hit the roadways for holiday travel this past Labor Day weekend, the State Highway Patrol also took to the roads to make sure everyone was traveling safely.
Sgt. Jeff Jirles with the Zanesville post of the Highway Patrol said 16 officers were working in Muskingum and Coshocton counties over the weekend. The officers made contact with around 700 motorists and issued citations to about 460 of those who were stopped.
"Over the Labor Day weekend, we traditionally see an increase in traffic incidents of a variety of crashes to OVI arrests, and our enforcement efforts obviously go up as well," Jirles said. "We see peaks in travel on the interstate highways and our state routes, and that was what we saw again this year."
There were 11 fatal crashes throughout the state over the holiday weekend, including one in Cambridge in Guernsey County. That number is down from the 16 fatalities statewide during the same period last year. Sgt. Jirles said one of the biggest problems troopers continue to see in our area involves drinking and driving.
"Our main focus here in Muskingum and Coshocton Counties over the weekend was the OVI arrests," he said. "We saw six people arrested in the counties for OVI, and we saw a trend there to have what I consider to be very high tests on those individuals. The legal limit in Ohio is .08. We saw folks in here over the weekend that were testing three times the legal limit, and that's a concern for us. We need to remove those people from the highway."
Keep in mind as you're driving that you can always report impaired and reckless drivers by dialing #667.