August 28, 2006
A report released by the Ohio State Highway Patrol found that Ohio alcohol-related traffic fatalities have increased over 26 percent over the last five years.
The report, available at http://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/, takes an in-depth look at the impact of impaired driving in Ohio from 2001 to 2005. Overall, 12 Ohio counties recorded 1,000 or more alcohol-related traffic injuries over the last five years. A significant number of alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred in Ohio's six large metropolitan counties- Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery and Summit.
Each year, 50,000 Ohioans are convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (OVI). The most dangerous drivers are considered "habitual" offenders, who have received five or more OVI convictions in their lifetimes. Currently, Ohio has 33,000 habitual offenders.
Previous research conducted by Harvard University economists found that every weekday night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., one in seven motorists had been drinking, with the peak hours for drinking and driving occurring between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., when the rate changes to one in four drivers.