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Police ramping up patrols, preparing for impaired drivers on New Year's weekend

12 people were killed in crashes during the four-day stretch of the 2021-2022 New Year’s reporting period, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Two Congressional bills - the HALT Act in the House and the RIDE Act in the Senate - are looking into what technology might be installed in vehicles to prevent drunk driving. The bills in Congress seek to create federal rules, so that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) could begin that process.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there are more than 240 current forms of vehicle technology - like lane assist or driver monitoring - which could be used to combat drunk driving by, in some cases, reprogramming that tech to safely pull an impaired driver over.
Posted at 7:56 AM, Dec 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-30 07:56:04-05

CLEVELAND — We are less than 24 hours out from arguably one of the most dangerous driving days and biggest party nights of the year.

Local and State Police have taken notice—by beefing up patrols.

It's all in an effort to keep you and your loved ones safe on New Year's Eve and throughout the holiday weekend.

Law enforcement officials say there is zero tolerance for destructive and disruptive behavior.

Police will be out in full force and on the lookout for drunk drivers. This means sobriety checkpoints in many spots.

Officials say there is no excuse not to utilize LYFT, Uber or get a designated driver.

Before you raise your glass to close out 2022—police want you to think twice about how you’re getting home.

New Year’s Eve is a major time to celebrate and has quickly become one of the most dangerous days of the year on the road.

The New Year’s holiday reporting period begins Friday, Dec. 30 at midnight and ends on Monday, Jan. 2 at 11:59 p.m.

During the four-day stretch of the 2021-2022 New Year’s reporting period—there were 12 deadly crashes that killed 12 people, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Of those, Highway Patrol reports alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in six fatal crashes.

There were also four pedestrians killed during the holiday period.

Highway Patrol made a total of 232 OVI arrests.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports 30% of all traffic deaths were related to alcohol impairment.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration preliminary data estimates more than 12,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes last year.

"You know, their birthdays will never be the same as those times of the year, the Christmas holidays. It becomes a very sad time with a lot of sad memories," Doug Scoles, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Regional Executive Director said.

MADD Regional Executive Director, Doug Scoles, has witnessed the pain first-hand.

He's worked with countless grieving family members attempting to preserve memories and get drunk drivers off the roads.

"They have plans and dreams for their kids to grow up. They never did. Loved ones, spouses taken away from them. It shouldn't happen. It doesn't have to happen. It's a preventable crime," Scoles said.

Ohio State Highway Patrol reports nearly 40,000 OVI crashes happened statewide since 2019, 54% of deadly crashes involved some person who was under the influence.

"If we continue to look at just inconvenience, not worst case scenario--just things that are not convenient to your everyday life, paying for a defense attorney is not cheap. Missing days of work to go to court is not cheap. Please be safe on the roads," Sergeant Ray Santiago, Ohio State Highway Patrol Public Affairs Unit said.

Summit County's “Arrive Alive” campaign is returning just in time for the holiday.

It allows folks to get free or reduced rides home through ride share app LYFT. It runs until noon Monday, Jan. 2.

To use Arrive Alive—you need the LYFT code: SUMMITNYE23.

Sergeant Santiago says there are plenty of resources available that everyone should take advantage of. He wants everyone to think carefully about their decisions and the possible long-term implications.

"There's just simply no excuse for it. But yes, to combat that, we will see increased patrols just as you would any other major holiday," Sergeant Santiago said.

Ohio State Highway Patrol is encouraging everyone to report impaired drivers. You can do so by dialing #677.