Stay safe on the roads this holiday weekend

For most Ohioans, the Fourth of July is a time to kick back, relax and enjoy the summer festivities. For an unfortunate few, however, what starts out as a fun holiday weekend will become memorable for the wrong reasons.

Drunk driving poses a real danger for anyone traveling over the weekend. Almost two million people across the state will be hitting the roads. This heavy traffic - along with increased alcohol use - can combine to create tragic circumstances. Last year alone, for example, the Ohio State Highway Patrol made almost 700 OVI arrests from July 2 to July 5, and drunk driving contributed to three fatalities.

Look out for these warning signs

As it has in past years, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is boosting OVI enforcement over the weekend. Nonetheless, we all play a role in keeping an eye out for drunk drivers and promptly reporting them.

Erratic driving can be a sign that the driver is intoxicated - and an accident may be imminent. Watch for red flags such as:

  • Weaving
  • Crossing the centerline
  • Drifting onto the shoulder
  • Speeding
  • Failing to signal

If another driver exhibits signs of drunk driving, make a note of the license plate and call #677 to report the suspicious vehicle. It's far better to be safe than sorry.

You can also take steps to protect yourself and others by:

  • Wearing a seatbelt
  • Following the speed limit
  • Maintaining a safe distance between your own vehicle and others
  • Planning ahead for a designated driver (or alternative transportation arrangements)
  • Preventing friends and family from getting behind the wheel if they've had too much to drink

By remaining aware of our surroundings and making wise decisions, we can all help make this Fourth of July a safe and fun weekend for everyone.

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