Highway Patrol urges sober New Year’s Eve driving

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging drivers who intend to celebrate the New Year’s holiday to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. The Patrol’s zero-tolerance policy is part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign.

The New Year’s holiday reporting period begins Thursday, December 30 at midnight and ends on Sunday, January 2 at 11:59 p.m.

During the four-day 2020-2021 New Year’s reporting period, there were 14 fatal crashes that killed 14 people. Of those, alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in 10 fatal crashes, while speed played a role in three of the crashes. Of the seven fatalities in which seat belts were available, five were unbelted. There were six pedestrians and one ATV/UTV driver killed during the holiday period.

“We want everyone to have a great start to the new year,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “If you plan on drinking, please don’t get behind the wheel.”

During last year’s reporting period, the Patrol made 309 arrests for OVI. Last year’s reporting period ran from Thursday, December 31 through Sunday, January 3.

“Tragically, last year’s New Year’s holiday was the deadliest in nine years,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent. “Safety is a shared responsibility and we need your commitment to help make our roads safe.”