Ohio State Highway Patrol Prepares Blitz Blitz as Revelers Prepare for New Year’s Eve

CLEVELAND – As the New Year’s Eve approaches this weekend, northeast Ohio law enforcement, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, is urging and encouraging revelers to have a designated driver or a sober ride home.

After two years of muted celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming New Year holidays mark a return to relative normality. Like every year, the Ohio troopers will be in full force cracking down on drunk and drunk drivers, Sgt. OSHP said. Bridget Matt.

“There’s no excuse [to drive impaired]Matt said. “We have so many options and resources available these days, from shared rides like Uber and Lyft to even the old-fashioned phone call home—call a friend. There is no reason why people should drive and drive drunk.”

Although New Year’s Eve drink-driving deaths have steadily declined across the country and also in Ohio over the past two decades, preventable and entirely preventable deaths still occur.

“New Year is a time to celebrate and be with family and friends. It’s a joyful moment – or at least it should be – a celebratory moment,” Matt said. “We wouldn’t want it to end in tragedy and end up in something that could have been avoided.”

The military reported 10 deaths during the New Year holidays 2021-2022. Three of these deaths were related to OVI. During the New Year holidays of 2020-2021, military personnel reported 14 dead.

During the 2021-2022 New Year holiday period, Cuyahoga County was particularly prone to accidents.

“We like to be first in many things. However, failures are not among them,” said Matt. “Last year on New Year’s Eve – so it’s New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – Cuyahoga County had the most accidents in the entire state of Ohio.”

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In Cuyahoga County alone, more than 40 OVI-related crashes occurred this past New Year’s holiday, resulting in one death. A total of 45 people associated with JVI were arrested.

In total, there have been more than 1,800 deaths due to drunk driving accidents throughout the year since 2019.

In 2021, 652 people died in traffic accidents, including 60 people in Cuyahoga County. In 2020, 637 people died from JVI, and in 2019 – 527 people.

“Move Sober or Get Stopped” is a hugely successful campaign, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, Matt said. “Every time we have disabled drivers and OVI-related accidents or deaths, there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Anyone wishing to report an unsafe or impaired driver on the road is encouraged to call 677.

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