Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers say that 400 families each year lose loved ones because of drunken-drivers, and now troopers are going to the source.
An ongoing program, called the Trace Back Program, is designed to deter drivers before they become intoxicated. The program has been in use for some time, but now, authorities can immediately request help from the Ohio Investigative Unit.
“Our resources are brought in to basically help trace the source of that alcohol,” said Eric Wolf of the Ohio Investigative Unit. “The effort will not only help reduce that number but also will hold the permit holders accountable for their actions.”
Beginning in 2013, state patrol officials will be able to immediately request assistance from the Ohio Investigative Unit to find where a suspected drunken-driver consumed the alcohol and potentially file charges against a bar or liquor establishment.
On Christmas morning in 2004, Bob Kent said that his son Brandon was heading to a party with his cousin, Josh Worthington, and a friend, Lucas Carmean, when a wrong-way driver struck their vehicle on Interstate 71, killing all three.
According to Kent, the driver had just left a bar.
“The police office told me they estimated both cars were going between 65 and 70 miles per hour, and it was a direct hit on impact,” Kent said.
Kent said that he hopes the changes to the program will help save other parents the grief that he suffered.
“I don’t want anyone else to be in the club I’m in,” Kent said. “If this is going to even step it up a notch, it’s a great thing.”
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there will be a special emphasis placed on establishments that provide alcohol to minors.
Penalties can vary from a fine to jail time.
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