The Portage County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio Highway Patrol have announced plans to step up traffic enforcement during the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" safety campaign, which started Friday and continues through Sept. 2.
In a continuing commitment to public safety, Sheriff David Doak said deputies will join forces with hundreds of law enforcement agencies across Ohio during the campaign. Additional officers will travel Portage County roads in an effort to reduce traffic related injuries and fatalities, through Labor Day.
In addition, troopers of the Ohio Highway Patrol and other police officers will conduct more than 7,000 enforcement hours and 900 hours of saturation patrols across the state, according to the highway patrol.
"Law enforcement partners across the state will be out in full force to ensure people are making the right decisions on our roads," said John Born, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. "Impaired driving is a serious matter, and the message is clear -- drive sober or get pulled over."
According to provisional data, 494 people died in 453 drunken driving-related crashes on Ohio's roads in 2012. Impaired drivers were involved in 44 percent of all fatal traffic crashes.
"We can't fight the battle against impaired driving on our own -- we need your commitment to make our roads safer," said Col. Paul Pride, highway patrol superintendent. "You can contribute to a safer Ohio by actively influencing friends and family to make safe, responsible decisions -- like planning ahead to designate a driver and insisting that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up."
The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown is a program organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.