Crack down on drunk driving

This holiday season, State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will be cracking down on drunk drivers with aggressive “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement.

The extra enforcement will run through Jan 1, according to a release from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties.

“You’ll see us making lots of stops during this highly visible enforcement period, and if we suspect anyone is driving while intoxicated, deputies will show zero tolerance for drunk driving,” said Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry in the release.

According to the press release, data shows the holiday season is a particularly deadly time due to the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads.

“The December holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, and we are going to keep our roads safe for travelers heading to visit friends and family,” said State Highway Patrol Lieutenant Brent Meredith in the release.

The Tiffin Police Department also is on high alert.

So far this year, 147 OVIs have been recorded by the Tiffin Police Department, the release states.

According to the release, drunk drivers often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, to lost wages due to time off from work. Even worse, a drunk driver can cause a traffic crash that claims someone’s life, or their own.

Tips to keep the holidays safe and happy include:

If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.

Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk or worse, the risk of having a crash while driving.

If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member.

Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.

If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life.