Friday’s OVI checkpoint sends a message

OVI-checkpoint
FILE OVI checkpoint on US 40 in Vandalia, Nov. 21, 2014. (WDTN Photo/Beairshelle Edmé)

VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Friday, Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) troopers in Vandalia were conducting a OVI checkpoint.

They’re spreading a message that has been heard time and time again, “Not to drink and drive, get a designated driver,” Lt. Mark Nichols of OSHP reiterated.
But despite that message being repeated over and over again, the troopers see drivers under the influence often.
Lt. Nichols explained, “I don’t think you’d be surprised I mean, it’s a lot. I mean, consistently it’s a major problem in the entire state, not just Montgomery County. Right now, Montgomery County is running about 50 percent on our fatal crash with alcohol involvement, and that’s been pretty consistent for the last couple of two or three years.”
To enforce the rules and save lives, Ohio State Highway Patrol sets up the checkpoints at various locations.
Officials say the checkpoints deter drivers from getting behind the wheel impaired from either drugs, alcohol or even medication.
If you want to skip out, signs tell you the checkpoint is ahead.
You have the right beforehand to take a different route.
But if you continue into the checkpoint, you’ll be screened.
“If we determine that you’ve had too much to drink we’ll place you under arrest,” Nichols said. “If it’s determined that you’ve been drinking and you’re not impaired, you get back in your car and go on your way.”
It’s a small inconvenience that officials say saves lives.
Lieutenant Nichols suggests asking yourself if a child was in the car, would you feel comfortable driving.
He believes that answer can tell you if it’s safe to drive.
He also says plan to ahead, “What we find is typically the people that would come and pick you up from jail are the people that would pick you up from wherever you were drinking anyway.”
Officials say as the holidays draw near they’ll be on high alert.
This time of year can be dangerous and troopers encourage all drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel if you’ve been under the influence.

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