‘Drive Sober’ event on tap this evening



Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and troopers of the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol tonight are teaming up for a joint effort that was a success last year in kicking off local law enforcement’s participation in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

To provide some safe driving reminders in a fun environment, both troopers and deputies will greet patrons at Froggy’s at the Lake, 11065 Township Road 293, Lakeview, starting at 5 p.m. today. Law enforcement officials said they’ll have the chance to both visit with patrons and distribute some Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over items, including coasters, napkins and magnets.

“The public was very receptive and outgoing with us last year, and we were happy to have the chance to interact with them in this casual, non-enforcement setting. We had an enjoyable time,” Deputy Jeff Anspach said Thursday.

“We’ll be talking with them about designating a driver and not getting behind the wheel if they’re intoxicated, just as a little reminder about being safe on the roadways as we wind down the summer and approach the busy Labor Day holiday weekend.”

Throughout the high-visibility campaign that runs through Labor Day, Sept. 4, local law enforcement officers will be ramping up their efforts for extra patrols on Logan County roads to keep up with the influx of traffic and activity, the deputy related.    

“Many schools are already back in session this week, and others will begin soon, so we’ll be seeing a lot of people headed out to family gatherings, celebrations and vacations, a last hurrah for the summer. We want these experiences to be positive ones, not involve a preventable crash or drunk driving incident.”

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over also will be a focus throughout Ohio for the statewide blitz, with targeted nighttime patrols between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. to look for drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, and for other driving violations, officials noted.  

Officers, troopers and deputies will be spending extra hours patrolling during what historically has been one of the most deadly times of the year in terms of drunk-driving fatalities across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

During the 2015 Labor Day holiday period, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide, and 40 percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking (with a blood alcohol content level of 0.01 or greater). 

Of those alcohol-related fatal crashes, nearly one-third involved drivers who were impaired (a BAC of .08 or greater), and nearly one-fourth involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (0.15 or greater).

When examining fatal crashes statistics in August from 2011-2015, more than half (55 percent) of the drivers involved who had one or more previous convictions for drunk driving, were impaired with a BAC of .08 or higher, according to the NHTSA. 

Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes during the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, 44 percent of those fatalities involved drunk drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.

The NHTSA reports that on average, a DUI offense will cost an individual $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs, and more.

The financial impact from impaired-driving crashes can be devastating: based on 2010 numbers, impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.

To avoid being part of similar statistics, officers encourage drivers to designate a sober driver for a safe ride home and to download the NHTSA SaferRide app, which is available for Android and Apple devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so they can be picked up.