Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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The St. Patrick's Day holiday can only mean one thing: a crackdown on drunk drivers. That's exactly what the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) began doing Friday night.
OSHP is putting more troopers on roadways to patrol this weekend, thanks to a federal grant. With the holiday weekend, troopers want to have an increased focus on impaired driving enforcement. They call it a "trooper shield."
"There's always a chance more people are going to be out partying because of the holiday," said Sgt. Brian Foltz of OSHP.
And their efforts are paying off. Last year, OVI arrests – including drugs – increased 3 percent. OVI-related crashes decreased by 14 percent.
"We're out there doing our job and with the increase of OVI arrests we've had for 2012, we've made an impact," Foltz said.
In addition, the Toledo OSHP post reports it arrested just over 1,100 impaired drivers in the district. Part of the reason is increased technology: the patrol can crunch the numbers and focus on trouble spots.
"And then we can obtain a map to find out where those crashes are occurring, where we can send the troopers to those areas to help deter crashes," Foltz explained.
If you suspect you see a drunk driver, call 911 or #677.