Police ramp up patrols to deal with drunk drivers over New Year’s weekend

CLEVELAND — Less than 24 hours until perhaps one of the most dangerous driving days and biggest parties of the year.

The local and state police took notice by stepping up patrols.

All this is done to keep you and your loved ones safe on New Year’s Eve and the holiday weekend.

Law enforcement officials state that destructive and disruptive behavior is unacceptable.

The police will work in full force and look for drunk drivers. This means there are sobriety checkpoints in many places.

Officials say there is no excuse for not using LYFT, Uber or hiring a designated driver.

Before you raise your glass to close out 2022, the police want you to think twice about getting home.

New Year’s Eve is a prime time to celebrate and has quickly become one of the most dangerous days of the year on the road.

The reporting period for the New Year holidays begins at midnight on Friday, December 30th and ends on Monday, January 2nd at 23:59.

There were 12 fatal crashes in the 2021-2022 New Year’s Day four-day reporting period, resulting in 12 deaths, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Of these, alcohol and/or drugs were reported by the Highway Patrol as the cause of six fatal crashes.

Four pedestrians also died during the holidays.

The Highway Patrol made a total of 232 JVI arrests.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that 30% of all road traffic deaths were alcohol-related.

More than 12,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes last year, according to preliminary figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“You know, their birthdays will never be the same as those seasons, the Christmas holidays. This is becoming a very sad time with many sad memories,” said Doug Scholes, Regional Executive Director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

MADD Regional Executive Director Doug Scholes has personally witnessed this pain.

He has worked with countless grieving family members in an effort to preserve memories and get drunk drivers off the roads.

“They have plans and dreams about how to raise their children. They never did. They took away their loved ones, spouses. This shouldn’t have happened.

The Ohio Highway Patrol says there have been about 40,000 OVI crashes statewide since 2019, with 54% of fatal crashes involving people under the influence of alcohol.

“If we continue to consider only the inconvenience and not the worst-case scenario — just things that are not convenient for your daily life, paying a lawyer is not cheap. Missed work days to go to court are not cheap. Please be safe on the roads,” said Sergeant Ray Santiago of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Public Relations Department.

Summit County’s “Arrive Alive” campaign returns just in time for the holiday.

This allows people to receive free or discounted rides home through the ride-sharing app LYFT. It will run until noon on Monday, January 2.

To use Arrive Alive, you need the LYFT code: SUMMITNYE23.

Sergeant Santiago says there are many resources available that everyone should take advantage of. He wants everyone to carefully consider their decisions and the possible long-term consequences.

“There is simply no excuse for this. But yes, to combat this, we will see increased patrols, just like any other major holiday,” Sergeant Santiago said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol encourages everyone to report driver violations. You can do this by dialing #677.

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