CLEVELAND — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is trying to put the brakes on a troubling trend. In the first three months of the year, troopers have arrested almost 5,600 drivers on Ohio roads for being impaired behind the wheel. That’s up almost a thousand drivers from the same time last year.
“It’s alarming,” said OHP Sgt. Ray Santiago.
About 26% of the arrests happened in Northeast Ohio. “Cuyahoga County was almost 1,400 arrests, that’s second or third in the entire state,” said Santiago.
Sadly, Michael Gershe knows all about the dangers of drinking and driving. He never got the chance to know his mother. “When I was eight weeks old my family and I were hit by a drunk driver. My mom was 28 years old and was killed. Nearly every bone in my body was broken,” Gershe said.
Twenty-six years ago, he made it his mission to try and spare other families the pain his went through.
“It shattered our family, my dad was never the same,” he explained. Gershe started the non-profit, the Magic of Life Foundation, aimed at educating people about the dangers of drunk driving.
OHP is also trying to educate drivers about the dangers of driving while impaired. Santiago said along with education and increased awareness, there will be beefed up and targeted enforcement. But, Santiago said, OHP troopers cannot be everywhere, and the help of the public is needed. He encouraged anyone who sees a driver who seems to be impaired to dial pound 677.
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