During the Labor Day holiday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working alongside the law enforcement community in Delaware County to decrease impaired driving.
Now through Sept. 5, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, and local police agencies are participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period.
At noon on Friday, Aug. 26, the SAFE Delaware County Coalition will be at the Jon Peterson Memorial Plaza to recognize the annual law enforcement campaign. The event will feature comments by Delaware County Assistant Prosecutor Payton Elizabeth Thompson. In addition, “Fatal Vison Goggle” activities will be provided for public participation.
During 2021, seven people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Delaware County that involved an alcohol or drug impaired driver. So far this year, at least five of the seven traffic fatalities in Delaware County have involved an impaired driver. For this reason, Delaware County law enforcement agencies are working together with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death.
“We want our community members to understand that it’s our first priority to keep people safe, so we’re asking everyone to plan ahead if they know they’ll be out drinking,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Robert Curry. “We need commitment from our community members that they’ll keep the streets free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe summertime and Labor Day holiday.”
The SAFE Delaware County Coalition and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get home safely.
“Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior, especially when there are so many safe alternatives to get you home safely,” said Delaware County Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Schiffel.
Safe alternatives to drinking and driving include:
• Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
• If available, use your community’s sober ride program.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911.
• If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
For more information on impaired driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
Submitted by the SAFE Delaware County Coalition.