Drunk drivers are a menace virtually every day and night on Dayton’s roads and highways. But the problem gets even worse on holiday weekends. Every time there is an extra day off, hundreds of Ohioans take it as an excuse to drink too much at a party, barbeque or sporting event and then drive home. Too often, these drunk drivers lose control and crash into somebody else, causing severe or fatal injuries.
Labor Day is no different. If anything, the nicer end-of-summer weather might encourage people to make reckless decisions. Instead of not drinking at a Labor Day get-together, arranging a designated driver or taking an Uber or taxi, they choose to drive while impaired. And innocent people are too often the victims of that horrible decision.
Grim statistics from Labor Day weekend 2021
During last year’s four-day Labor Day period, 12 people died in auto accidents. Three of those deaths involved a drunk driver. Many more drunk driving wrecks thankfully did not kill anybody but left one or more people badly hurt. Nighttime is especially dangerous as drunk drivers try to get home: 5 percent of OVI-related accidents over last year’s Labor Day weekend happened between 10 pm and 4 am. That might not sound like a lot, but when you think of how thin traffic usually is at 3 am, it represents a huge spike in crashes that late at night.
Stepped-up OVI enforcement
As they do every year, Ohio law enforcement is stepping up OVI enforcement over the Labor Day period. Since Aug. 19, the Ohio Traffic Safety Office has been working with the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to conduct the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. This campaign uses federal funding to help pay for overtime and put more state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and local police on the streets and highways.
Despite the police’s best efforts, you could still get caught in the path of a drunk driver during the upcoming holiday weekend. That could put you in the hospital with severe, potentially permanent pain and disability. You should not have to bear the burden of paying the costs associated with injuries caused by someone else’s negligence like this.