Drunk driving accidents increased in Wood County - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Drunk driving accidents increased in Wood County

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WOOD COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A dangerous behavior is on the rise in Wood County. State troopers say they're working to stop people from getting behind the wheel while drunk.

New data from Wood County Safe Communities shows alcohol-related injury accidents have dramatically increased – from 3.5 percent in 2012 to 5.1 percent so far this year.

"OVI crashes are up, however we've seen an increase in OVI arrests in our area, upwards of 35 percent," said Sgt. Bob Burd, from the OSHP Bowling Green post.

Troopers say it's hard to pinpoint the problem areas.

"The problem is if it's happening, it's bad," Sgt. Burd said. "I'd love to say, ‘Stay away from this area,' or ‘Stay away from any area,' but you can't do that anymore."

In order to combat the issue, state troopers and other agencies created the "Swallow Your Pride" program. A donated car will be stationed at the Bowling Green Police Station. Anyone can call for a ride if they feel they can't make it home.

"We'll give them a ride within 10 miles of our location in the Bowling Green area to get them home safely," Burd said.

The program should be up and running by New Year's. Until then, troopers have something they want the public to do.

"Grabbing your family member and everyone out the door, saying, ‘Hey, I'd love to see you come home tonight. Please be responsible,' you know, that helps out greatly," Burd said.

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