COLUMBUS - A report released Tuesday from the Ohio State Patrol shows there were over double the amount of arrests made for operating a vehicle while impaired as OVI-related crashes in 2012.
The number of OVI-related crashes decreased 14 percent to 12,168 crashes in 2012 as OVI arrests increased three percent to 24,500 arrests.
In the Mahoning Valley, Mahoning County had the largest number of OVI arrests with 609, Trumbull County had 585 OVI arrests, and Columbiana County had 190 OVI arrests.
Lt. Nakia Hendrix at the Canfield OSP post says his local numbers reflect the statewide figures, but there is still a problem in the county as long as drivers are still impaired.
"We still have our work cut out for us," he says.
He says there will be increased patrols watching for impaired driving this weekend as county residents celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Saturday and Sunday.
Lt. Joe Dragovich out of the Lisbon post says it's hard to compare year-to-year figures in Columbiana because the numbers are so low, but he said statewide figures reflect the increase in presence all OSP posts have been trying for.
"To get that three percent increase in arrests, patrol and presence would have to had increased significantly," he says.
Lt. Brian Holt with the Warren OSP post says Trumbull numbers are on track with the statewide numbers.
He says they were on their way to having record low numbers of OVI-related deaths this year, but that might not be the case pending the toxicology results of the driver in the fatal crash that killed six people and injured two others Sunday.
Of the over 12,000 OVI-related crashes in the state in 2012, 431 people were killed and 7,299 others were injured.
"We can't fight the battle against impaired driving on our own – We need your commitment to make our roads safe," said Col. John Born, Patrol superintendent, in the OSP release. "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."
Dragovich warns that of all the fatal accidents in Columbiana in 2012, only one person who died was wearing a seatbelt.