OSP to be on patrol this weekend

The State Highway Patrol will be out in full force cracking down on impaired drivers the Fourth of July weekend beginning today and ending Sunday, according to a release from the State Highway Patrol.

The patrol’s zero-tolerance policy is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign aimed at removing impaired drivers from the roadways.

According to the release, the Ohio State Patrol made 291 operating a vehcile under the influence arrests July 3-July 4, 2013, across the state. During that time, five fatal crashes resulted in six deaths. One crash was OVI-related, resulting in one death.

According to the release, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show in the past five years, 756 people died nationwide in crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or more during the July Fourth holiday period.

“By making smart decisions, motorists can help avoid the tragedies that follow driving impaired,” Col. Paul A. Pride, State Highway Patrol superintendent, said in the release. “Things like planning ahead and designating a sober driver can save lives.”

The patrol also urges drivers to buckle up, as safety belts saved an estimated 12,174 lives nationwide in 2012, according to NHTSA. During the 2013 Fourth of July holiday, four of the six individuals killed in Ohio were not wearing safety belts.

Motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.