There is almost nothing worse a police officer has to do than knock on someone’s door in the middle of the night to tell them their loved one has been hurt, or worse, killed in a car accident. That’s why the Ohio State Highway Patrol is out this Thanksgiving weekend trying to stop the crashes before they can happen.
In a county that last year averaged less than one OVI arrest per day, six were made just last night in Jefferson County.
“Every person that we can take off the road that is impaired could potentially have saved a life,” said Sgt. Jeff Bernard.
Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest bar and drinking nights of the year. Across the state, the number of OVI arrests for an average Wednesday doubles.
“We knew in advance, of course, that traditionally it’s a busy time of the year for drinking and people celebrating with family and friends, and if they chose not to get a designated driver, bad things can happen,” Bernard added.
7NEWS rode along with Trooper Trevor Koontz. Two of the six stops we made in a four and a half hour time period turned into OVI arrests. Trooper Koontz performed field sobriety tests on the two suspects after witnessing swerving, speeding, and more. It may not make for pleasant dinner conversation on Thanksgiving Day, having to tell family members what happened, but it could have saved a life, theirs or someone else on the road.
“If you’re going to go out and celebrate with friends, just plan ahead. Get a designated driver and enjoy your friends and family, but make sure you do it safely,” said Bernard.
The target enforcement efforts for the OSHP are not over. They will be out in full force looking for impaired drivers until Sunday at midnight.