Law enforcement officers throughout Delaware County will be stepping up enforcement to put an end to impaired driving as part of the 2017 Labor Day Statewide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.
The SAFE Delaware County coalition’s campaign kick-off event was held at Genoa Township’s McNamara Park Shelter (7049 Big Walnut Road) at 10:00 a.m. on August 17th. The event highlighted how those left behind after a fatal crash cope with the loss caused by impaired driving. Guest speakers will include funeral director Mike Neeper and Genoa Township resident Corinne Gasper who lost her daughter to an impaired driver.
"Driving a motor vehicle is an enormous responsibility that can have devastating consequences if a driver is impaired," said Trustee Frank Dantonio. "It is very important for drivers to know when to know they may be impaired and when to say ‘no’."
The enforcement campaign will run through September 4, 2017 which includes the Labor Day holiday weekend, one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk-driving fatalities. So far in 2017, the Delaware County Ohio State Highway Patrol Post has made over 372 impaired driving arrests, according to Post Commander Lt. Marcus Pirrone. An additional 33 impaired driving arrests were made in Genoa Township during the same period.
"Genoa Township Police have a reputation for catching drunk drivers," said Police Chief Stephen Gammill. "It’s a matter of life and death and we do not tolerate it in our community."
Increased messages about the dangers of driving impaired coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on roadways. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows that drivers respond to highly visible enforcement. Past campaigns have resulted in a 20 percent decrease in alcohol-related crash fatalities.
When faced with a situation where someone who is drunk is trying to drive, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers offers these tips:
- Be as non-confrontational as possible.
- Explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care, and you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.
- Remember that the person you are talking to is impaired. Talk a bit more slowly and explain things more fully than if you were speaking to a sober person.
- Suggest alternate ways of getting to their destination — a cab, a sober driver, or public transportation.
- Suggest that they sleep over.
- Enlist a friend to help you or to act as moral support. It’s more difficult to say "no" to two (or more) people than one.
- If possible, get the person’s keys. It is far easier to persuade the potential driver when you hold this leverage.
- If all else fails, call law enforcement. It’s better to have a friend or family member arrested than injured or killed.