The dangers of drunk driving in Ohio

Drunk driving is a serious problem in Ohio. More than 3,600 people were killed in an accident involving a drunk driver in the decade between 2003 and 2012, with relative rates slightly above the national average. Victims above the age of 20 were at special risk compared to the rest of the United States.

A study determined that Ohio is also slightly above the national average in people who reported driving after drinking too much in the previous 30 days. This suggests that millions of Ohioans put themselves and others at risk every year by getting behind the wheel after two or more drinks.

Sobriety checkpoints are legal in Ohio, and may be set up by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and local or municipal police and sheriff's officers. Task forces are often created by one or more law enforcement agencies to prevent impaired drivers.

Traffic stops are often pre-announced by the law enforcement agency and must be in highly visible locations. Police may stop all or some of the drivers passing the checkpoint, and breath tests may be applied if an officer believes a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Checkpoints have resulted in dozens of arrests in Ohio so far this year. A recent checkpoint resulted in 10 arrests over four hours. Several drunk drivers had blood alcohol levels at double the legal limit.

Motor vehicle collisions, especially involving pedestrians, may cause severe injury, permanent disability or death. Victims may be eligible for reimbursement for medical expenses incurred during recovery, as well as compensation for personal suffering.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Ohio," accessed July 24, 2017

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