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Courts and Crime

Highway Patrol hits the streets for New Year's
2012 saw 18 percent drop in drug- and alcohol-related crashes

Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:
The Ohio Highway Patrol is celebrating an 18-percent drop in drug- and alcohol-related crashes in 2012, and is preparing to keep that streak going through New Year’s Eve. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
Highway Patrol hits the streets for New Year's

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Although the number of crashes is down, arrests for drunk driving are up. Lt. Anne Ralston says that’s partly because of increased vigilance on the part of the Highway Patrol, which is in full force right now.

“We had over 127 OVI checkpoints for our agency alone. That’s not counting any other agency around the state of Ohio that ran OVI checkpoints this year. It’s awareness. It’s a deterrent. So maybe even for just that one night, people don’t drink and drive. Then we can also make arrests as well at the checkpoint and the associated saturation patrols. So we go at it from many angles. Our main goal is to change driver behavior and whether that’s through education, awareness or whether through enforcement, that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Ralston says additional officers were sent out this morning at midnight, and the increased patrols will continue until midnight on January 2nd.

She suggests making travel plans ahead of time and, if attending a party at a public place, call ahead and ask if transportation is available.
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