SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – You can expect a lot of traffic on the roads this Memorial Day weekend – including a heavy presence by police who warn they’ll be on the lookout for those driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Lt Brian Aller of Springfield Highway Patrol said drugged and drunk drivers continue to present a challenge to officers, and he’s warning those who are planning on having a drink, this weekend, not to get behind the wheel of a car.
“Before you even go out, figure out what your plan is. Figure out what you’re doing to do. Because if you don’t do that, you really don’t have a plan,” Aller said.
“Not only are you putting yourself at risk. You’re putting people like my family at risk.”
Memorial Day is Monday but the increase in cars on the street starts today, and Aller said it’s going to stay busy all weekend.
There were nearly 400 OVI related fatal crashes in Ohio, last year.
Authorities have already warned: For the first time, ever, the number of drugged drivers has surpassed the number of drunk drivers on city streets.
“People, when they get up – that’s what they do; That’s their coffee in the morning,” Aller said.
“They wake up from the bed, they do their drug of choice – whether it be methamphetamine or opiates or anything else – and they go drive.”
Another traffic infraction police will be on the lookout for this weekend: failure to wear a seat-belt.
Aller said oftentimes, when someone gets into a crash – it’s not necessarily the initial impact that kills them, but what happens afterwards.
“Their body’s thrown outside the vehicle they hit a pillar or other type of object,” Aller said.
“It takes very little to actually injure a person.”
With more drivers on the road, this weekend, Aller said officers will be working overtime, to ensure the streets are safe.