According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 3,637 people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Ohio from 2003 to 2012. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car, truck, pedestrian and motorcycle accidents in Hamilton County remain a major public safety concern.
In 2017, there have been 332 crashes investigated in Hamilton County. Many of these traffic crashes were alcohol-related accidents. Ohio ranks higher than the national average for the number of people reporting driving after drinking too much. The national percentage of adults who report driving after drinking too much over a 30-day period is 1.9 percent, as compared to Ohio’s 2.2 percent. However, the number of fatal crashes in Hamilton County has dropped from 57 in 2016 to 51 in 2017, so far.
To reduce and prevent drunk driving, the NHTSA suggests implementing state-specific strategies. Sobriety checkpoints are allowed in Ohio and provide police with an opportunity to stop vehicles at specific locations to test for driver impairment. All states, including Ohio, prohibit driving with a blood alcohol content at or above .08 percent. Those convicted of drunk driving offenses in Ohio may be subject to ignition interlock laws, which are designed to prevent their cars from starting if their BAC is above .02 percent.
Other strategies include mass media campaigns and school-based instructional programs. Mass media campaigns educate people on the dangers and consequences of drunk driving and may offer support in preventing drunk driving accidents, such as training for licensed establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. School-based instructional programs are effective in teaching teenagers not to ride with drunk drivers. It remains to be seen whether these programs are also effective in reducing drunk driving and related crashes.