Time after time in public opinion surveys, motorists rank being hit by a drunk driver as one of their top fears about driving.
The vast majority of these same motorists are law-abiding people who drive to get to work, shop, go to their kid’s soccer games, or any number of other events and places without thinking twice about the dangers they could face on the roads every day.
One thing people almost universally agree on, however, is they are grateful law enforcement professionals are out there protecting them, and their families, from drunk drivers.
One important way Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers work to make Ohio roads safe to travel is by aggressively searching for, and removing, impaired drivers from the roadways before they can cause a tragedy to someone in your family, or someone you know. Troopers arrested 24,730 impaired drivers last year – some of the most dangerous criminals on Ohio roads. That meant 24,730 potential traffic crash tragedies were prevented by the diligence of our officers.
I hope it is comforting for those drivers who represent the majority that are obeying traffic laws and making driving safety a priority, that your local state troopers are out there protecting you from the other guy who may cause a tragic situation through the selfishness of driving impaired.
State troopers universally take the crime of drunk driving seriously.
And that is what drunk driving is – a crime.
Drunk driving is a crime that puts innocent people in danger, and all too frequently results in tragic consequences.
That’s what makes what state troopers do so important – we are out there to protect the innocent from the criminals.
While great strides have been made recently in the area of impaired driving enforcement, the job is quite clearly not finished.
One important way we aim to achieve that objective is by aggressively searching for, and removing, impaired drivers from the roadways. We also use checkpoints and other specialized enforcement programs to deter and intercept impaired drivers.
But state troopers do more than enforce Ohio’s traffic laws.
We also educate drivers of all ages about the importance of making responsible decisions – including the decision not to drive impaired.
But we can’t fight the battle against drunk driving on our own – We need your commitment to make our roads safe.
Each person can, and must, help by actively influencing friends and family to make the type of safe, responsible decisions that save lives. Simple things like planning ahead to designate a driver if you choose to consume alcohol, and insisting that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up before you leave, can go a long way toward ensuring tragedies do not occur.
I also want to encourage the public to continue using 1-877-7-PATROL to report dangerous drivers or stranded motorists, or 1-800-GRAB DUI to report impaired drivers.
Is there any doubt that when a state trooper stops a drunk driver traveling the wrong way on a dark road, and moments later a family innocently drives by in a minivan, that trooper stopped a criminal from committing a tragedy?
Do you ever stop to consider the teenager on her way to work, and the only reason she was not killed when a drunk driver ran through a red light is because a state trooper stopped that drunk driver before a tragedy could happen?
That’s why we are out there. We represent that critical line of protection for the innocent against the criminal drunk driver.
Recently the Ohio State Highway Patrol released a new video today to illustrate the dangers impaired drivers pose to motorists on Ohio roads at any given time during the day or night.
The new video – 24-hours of OVI – depicts actual in-car video segments of OVI arrests made by state troopers during a 24-hour period on May 25 – the Sunday of the recently completed Memorial Day holiday weekend. The video is intended to illustrate that at any given time on Ohio roads impaired drivers are posing a danger to innocent motorists and state troopers are aggressively looking for and apprehending these dangerous criminals. You can watch the video on our Web site, http://statepatrol.ohio.gov.
During the 24 hours of May 25, state troopers arrested 219 motorists for OVI, including at least one arrest every hour with the exception of the 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. hour. The video shows a brief clip of one OVI arrest from that date every hour except for the 10:00 a.m. hour.
In the United States, every 30 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver, and every two minutes someone is injured. You, your family or your friends could be next.
State troopers are committed to arresting impaired drivers so Ohio’s roadways as safe as possible.