'Impaired drivers are out there 24/7': OSHP warns drivers to always be wary at all times


Doug and Carol Foreman said when they fell in behind a semi swerving across the road near Bucyrus, in Crawford County, they went down a checklist of what could be wrong.

"'Is the person texting?' You go through those things," said Doug.

Carol dialed #677 on Doug's phone to reach an Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatcher and then whipped out her own cell phone and began recording video of the swerving semi from the passenger seat of the couple's vehicle. CrimeTracker 10 obtained those videos, in which Doug Foreman is clearly heard giving dispatchers a play by play of the scene unfolding on the road in front of him.

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"I'm behind a semi that just went past the 18-mile marker," Foreman told a dispatcher. "I'm talking half the semi driving northbound in the southbound lane."

"We literally saw four cars — two of them had to go way down in the ditch to keep from having a head-on," Foreman told CrimeTracker 10.

Approximately eight miles away at the Bucyrus Highway Patrol Post, Lieutenant Scott Rike overheard the situation unfolding and said he couldn't get out the door fast enough.

"When I heard it was a commercial, I was like 'oh my gosh,'" said Lt. Rike.

Troopers took CrimeTracker 10 to the section of winding and swerving rural road where Lt. Rike was trying to catch up to the out of the control semi. As Rike responded to the call for help, Doug continued to follow the semi traveling in the wrong lane. The cell phone video revealed the semi moving over just in time to avoid a head-on collision.

"I actually witnessed her run cars off the road," said Lt. Rike. "Not that I didn't believe these people, but I had it on my dash cam as well."

Lt. Rike got the semi pulled over at about 4:00 p.m. and said it was immediately clear something was wrong with the driver.

"She just had a thousand-yard stare. She just couldn't look at me. Her eyes were glassy, her speech was long and lethargic," said Lt. Rike.

Cruiser dash cam video showed the driver nearly falling over several times while performing a field sobriety test before she was taken into custody. Lt. Rike said the investigation would later reveal the driver was under the influence of methamphetamine. She was arrested before the dinner hour.

It may surprise some to learn that things like this happen all the time.

CrimeTracker 10 researched OVI arrests in central Ohio by the hour of the day. Last year, troopers made 4,655 OVI arrests in Franklin County and the surrounding counties. Sixty-five of those arrests occurred between the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., when you're driving your kids to school.

The most dangerous time to be on the road was from 2 to 3 a.m. in the morning, when troopers arrested 1136 people for OVI. The next time you decide to drive to a restaurant to have dinner, keep in mind troopers arrested more than 300 people for driving under the influence between 5 and 8 p.m.

"I hate to say there's impaired drivers out there, 24/7," said Lt. Rike.

Doug says even though it was 4 in the afternoon, he never hesitated to call the Highway Patrol's #677 line to get the driver stopped.

"I'm serious when I say this, they saved somebody's life," said Lt. Rike.

The #677 line makes it possible for you to report impaired, reckless or wrong-way drivers in Ohio.