Saturday, July 17, 2010


Lorain – An OVI Checkpoint Friday night in Lorain pulled 5 impaired drivers off the roadways.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, in conjunction with the Lorain Police Department, held the checkpoint from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday night on 28th Street, east of Fulton Road.

The OVI checkpoint, funded by federal grant funds, was planned to deter and intercept impaired drivers.

The checkpoint was also held in conjunction with nearby saturation patrols to aggressively combat alcohol-related injury and fatal crashes.

“Based on provisional data, there were 338 OVI-related fatal crashes in which 370 people were killed last year in Ohio,” Lt. Travis Hughes, Commander of the Lorain Post, said. “State troopers made 24,245 OVI arrests last year in combating these dangerous drivers. OVI checkpoints are designed to not only deter impaired driving, but to proactively remove these dangerous drivers from our roadways.”

Friday night’s checkpoint worked like this: Vehicles traveling on East 28th Street (east or westbound) were able to see the checkpoint set up. In accordance to the law, drivers were able to get around the checkpoint by turning down either Fulton Road or Wood Street. Those drivers that went through the checkpoint were greeted by either a Lorain Police Officer or State Trooper. They would identify themselves and explain the checkpoint.

The driver would then be asked to present a valid driver’s license and were asked if they had been drinking. If the driver had a valid license and were not impaired they were allowed to pass.

Drivers without a valid license or those suspected of being impaired were asked to pull into a designated area to be check. Drivers who just didn’t have their license on them were detained while a check was run through a computer. Once they determined that the driver was valid they were allowed to pass.

In total 416 vehicles passed through the checkpoint with 33 of them being diverted. Out of the 33, 5 were cited for OVI and 2 were cited for Driving Under Suspension. One driver cited for OVI was deemed an illegal alien. The Border Patrol was notified about him and his 5 passengers.

As the cones were being picked up Lt. Hughes said he felt the evening was a success. “We removed 5 impaired drivers from the roadways so that is very good.”

Hughes said that the selection of Checkpoint locations is not a random thing – no throwing darts at a Lorain County map to decide where one will take place. “Through our crash records, where a lot of OVI arrests are made and where a lot of OVI crashes occur – we look at the whole picture and where we see a cluster, it pops right out. The locations we choose are certainly not just random, we do a lot of research because we when we do it we want to get it right.”

Some people have said they believe the checkpoints are nothing but a trap to make money. Hughes strongly rejects that misconception. “My biggest contention is that is it not about money, rather it is all about safety. Our driving force is the crashes that have happened. The injury crashes – the Fatal crashes. The last thing that we want to do as Troopers is to make a death notification to relatives as a result of an alcohol related crash. We have found that these work very well to deter this. So money is not a motivating factor at all, it’s about safety. It has been proven that alcohol enforcement, OVI enforcement will decrease the fatal and injury related crashes.”

Hughes also praised the Lorain Police Departments commitment to removing impaired drivers from their roadways. “They contacted us and asked to work together in this effort. Their turnout of Officers tonight and their work here has been great.”



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