Drive Sober campaign kicks off at Holmes Co. Fair

Drive Sober campaign kicks off at Holmes Co. Fair

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In advertising, the one point sales representatives often reiterate is to be effective, business owners should advertise often to make sure their message is heard.

Driving sober and making good driving decisions also is a message local law-enforcement officials hope to hammer into the brains of the public, and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a message they believe is worth reiterating as much as possible.

On Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Holmes County Fair, Safe Communities of Wayne and Holmes Counties joined law-enforcement officials from the Ohio State Patrol Wooster division, Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and Millersburg Police to promote the upcoming Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

The officers talked with people and gave them a chance to try a game of cornhole while wearing the vision-impairment goggles that emulate someone who has drunk too much alcohol. The difficulty level of tossing a beanbag toward a hole became higher for all involved.

While it was fun, it opened the door for the officers to have conversations about the message of the national DSoGPO campaign.

They also wanted to let the public know they would be watching the roadways closer than ever during the campaign.

“All area officers will be out enforcing Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over beginning Aug. 19 and running through Sept. 7,” Lt. Tim Stryker of the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office said. “We will be out in full force, looking for impaired drivers of all types.”

While drunk driving is well-publicized, Stryker said the area continues to experience a spike in drivers under the influence of drugs. He said that number has increased dramatically over the past couple of years, but he said that increase goes far deeper than simply more people driving under the influence of drugs.

“I think a big part of it is due to the training and experience the officers are getting in detecting drug-related driving,” Stryker said. “We continue to gain experience in what to look for in drug-impaired driving.”

Stryker said stops have gone beyond the regular sobriety tests as officers implement Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving, which detects whether a driver is under the influence of drug-impaired driving including marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin and other drugs.

In addition, officers will be on the lookout for other forms of impaired driving including distracted driving due to cell-phone use, drowsiness and other things that take a driver’s attention off the road.

“When people are on the road, their attention needs to be on the road and their driving,” Stryker said.

He said common sense should always take precedence, and if people are out drinking alcohol, they should plan ahead with a designated driver or call automobile services like Uber to get them safely home.

“Don’t be afraid to call someone,” Stryker said. “It’s always better to do that than take a chance that you can crawl behind your wheel and make it home, even if it is a short distance. It’s better to get home late than not at all.”