COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging those who are planning on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to designate a sober driver. The Patrol and local law enforcement will work together to remove impaired drivers from the roadways as part of the National Highway Safety Administration’s Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving campaign.

The consumption of alcohol is a common occurrence on St. Patrick’s Day. The popularity of the holiday has also made it a dangerous time to travel on Ohio’s roadways. In 2017, there were 39 people injured on St. Patrick’s Day due to alcohol-related crashes. In all of 2017, 315 people were killed and 6,868 were injured in alcohol-related crashes.

“There are so many options to get home safely after consuming alcohol,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “Planning ahead before you go out is not only the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”

The Ohio Investigative Unit and other safety partners work to educate the consequences of impaired driving to motorists and over-serving to permit holders. For bars and permit holders, over-serving or serving to underage customers could mean costly fines, suspension or revocation of their liquor permit.

Troopers have made almost 4,000 OVI arrests in the first two months of 2018. Compared to the same time period last year, there have been 33% fewer alcohol-related fatalities.

As always, motorists are encouraged to dial #677 to report drug activity or impaired drivers.