Patrol encouraging sober driving this Fourth of July


COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be highly visible and cracking down on impaired drivers during the Fourth of July holiday reporting period, which begins at midnight tonight and will run through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

The patrol’s zero-tolerance policy is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign aimed at removing impaired drivers from the roadways. Many Fourth of July celebrations involve alcohol, which increases the possibility of impaired driving. Therefore, the patrol urges motorists to buckle up, drive safely and follow all traffic laws.

“Fourth of July celebrations are a hallmark of summer in Ohio, and I urge everyone to celebrate responsibly to ensure a safe holiday for all,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

During last year’s Fourth of July reporting period, from July 3 through July 4, a total of 10 fatal crashes killed 12 people; of those, nine crashes and 11 fatalities involved alcohol and/or drugs. Also, five of the fatalities involved unbelted victims who had safety belts available at the time of the crash. Last year’s Fourth of July reporting period included the fatalities of four motorcyclists, two pedestrians and one bicyclist. Ohio state troopers made 138 impaired driving arrests during the reporting period.

“For the Ohio State Highway Patrol, ensuring the safety of those who travel Ohio roads during the Fourth of July holiday, and every day, is a top priority,” said Colonel Charles A. Jones, patrol superintendent. “Impaired driving is a significant contributor to preventable crashes and tragedies, and drug-impaired driving has continued to increase on Ohio’s roadways. Addressing this issue involves dedicated efforts by our troopers to increase safety on our roadways.”

When it comes to impaired driving, as Jones noted, the issue is not exclusive to alcohol impairment. In fact, drug impaired driving has continued to increase on Ohio’s roads. While overall fatal crashes went down 3% from 2022 to 2023, drug-impaired driving in fatal crashes increased 4%. Last year, troopers made 3,319 drug-impaired driving arrests. This included 739 marijuana impaired arrests, 1,865 drug-impaired driving arrests for a drug other than marijuana and 715 drug-impaired driving arrests in which the driver had a combination of marijuana and another drug in their system.

Motorists are encouraged to designate a sober driver and safely call #677 to report impaired drivers, drug activity or stranded motorists.

No posts to display