NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The Fourth of July may have been a one-day celebration of independence for some, but the Elyria post of the Ohio Highway Patrol approached this weekend as if the gala were still going on.
On Friday, the patrol set up a sobriety checkpoint designed to deter drinking and driving, said post commander Lt. Glenn Peterson.
From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., highway patrol troopers and officers from the North Ridgeville Police Department and Lorain County Sheriff’s Office set up shop on Lorain Road east of Lear Nagle Road. Peterson said their presence was not aimed at trapping drivers.
“This is not designed to catch drunk driver, but deter people from drinking and driving,” he said.
Peterson just wants drivers to follow a bit of simple advice.
“If you plan to consume alcohol, designate a driver or make other travel arrangements before you drink,” he said. “Don’t let another life be lost for the senseless and selfish act of getting behind the wheel impaired.”
Since 12 a.m. Tuesday, troopers have increased their presence around the county. The enforcement will remain in place through tonight.
So far, the strategy is working.
Peterson said troopers made less than a dozen arrests for DUI on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and there were no fatal accidents.
Last year, during the same reporting period, there were no reported drunken driving arrests or accidents, according to the Highway Patrol’s Web site.
He attributes the relative quiet to the holiday falling in the middle of the week.
“Being in the middle of a work week certainly helped change people’s perspective on the holiday,” Peterson said. “Many people worked on Tuesday returned to work on Thursday, and it was not as celebrated as if it fell on a weekend.”
Similar checkpoints took place all over the state this week resulting in the arrest of 294 impaired drivers, according to patrol records.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.