To drive or not to drive? Troopers urge safety on New Year's Eve


The Ohio Highway Patrol says troopers will be keeping a sharp eye out for drunk drivers on New Year's Eve. They say the most important safety decision you make will happen before you ever leave the house.

"If you're driving to a party where you're going to consume alcohol, you've already made a bad decision. So, don't even put yourself in that position," said Lt. Robert Sellers, Ohio Highway Patrol.

In 2016 between Christmas and New Years, 13 people lost their lives in OVI related traffic crashes on Ohio's roads.

The highway patrol will saturate Ohio roads on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in hopes of preventing drunk driving crashes and deaths.

The Ohio Highway Patrol says in the past five years, the number of people who lost their lives in OVI related crashes on New Year's Eve has climbed from one to four. The number of people injured fell last year to 70, a 15 percent reduction from the year before.

The credit could go to heavy enforcement. Last year, troopers made 287 OVI arrests, up more than 70 percent from four years ago.

OHP says to take an Uber or a Lyft to your holiday celebration, or plan on spending the night. Troopers say if a friend or loved one has consumed alcohol and tries to get behind the wheel, you may have to spoil the festive mood to stop them.

"Intervene. Help them make the right choice. And it could save their life. It could save someone else's life," Sellers said.

Troopers say the results of a drunk driving crash are as tragic as they are preventable.

It should be noted, since 2013, of the 11 people killed in OVI related crashes on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, only two deaths occurred before midnight.

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