Agencies urge residents to avoid impaired driving over holiday


During the holiday weekend, local agencies are reminding Union County residents to stay safe and drive sober.
The Union County Safe and Sound Coalition and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are reminding drivers of the dangers of drunk driving
“We want our community to have a safe Independence Day,” said Chelcie Beadnell, Safe and Sound Coalition Coordinator. “We’ve partnered with NHTSA to help remind drivers that buzzed driving is drunk driving.”
She added, “Under no circumstance is it ever O.K. to drink and drive. This behavior is illegal, it’s deadly and it’s selfish.”
She encouraged individuals to plan for a safe weekend during the Fourth of July holiday. She said those who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
“Do everyone in your community a favor: if you’ve been drinking, find a sober ride home,” Beadnell said.
According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, drunk driving accounted for 29% of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018.
In 2018, 193 people died in crashes over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. 40% of the fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes.
As part of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s effort to make Ohio’s roadways safer, troopers are focusing on impaired driving enforcement.
According to OSHP, in 2019 there were 13,047 OVI-related crashes on Ohio roadways, which killed 597 people and injured 8,178 others. During that same period, troopers removed 22,520 impaired drivers from Ohio roadways.
“We need motorists to commit to keeping our roads safe by planning ahead to designate a sober driver,” said Lt. Shawn Cook.
He added, “You can also help fight the battle against impaired driving by actively influencing friends and family to do the same.”
He said troopers from the Marysville Post have removed 58 impaired drivers from the roadway this year.
The public is encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers, drug activity or stranded motorists.
“If you are drunk or high, or even a little buzzed, we are begging you: stay off the roads,” Beadnell said. “Drunk driving is deadly.”

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