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Troopers make 415 drunken driving arrests in 2008

IRONTON — State troopers in Lawrence County made 415 arrests last year for those suspected of drunken driving, the Ohio State Highway Patrol announced Tuesday.

The 2008 figure puts Lawrence County 22nd out of Ohio’s 88 counties in the number of OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated) arrests made by the patrol. Of the 415 arrests made countywide, 67 were considered injury crashes with two listed as fatalities.

One of the fatalities occurred on SR 775 while the other happened on a roadway just north of Chesapeake.

Crashes related to drinking killed 466 people on Ohio roads last year, according to patrol statistics.

In total, the Ohio State Highway Patrol made 25,512 OVI arrests in 2008. Franklin County, which includes Columbus, led the way with 1,441 arrests while Butler County, north of Cincinnati, was second with 1,132.

Neighboring Scioto County finished with 507 arrests in 2008, while Jackson and Gallia counties had 223 and 190 arrests respectfully.

The patrol said troopers made two-thirds of their drunken driving arrests between midnight and 4 a.m.

“The patrol takes the crime of impaired driving seriously. And that is what impaired driving is — a crime,” Patrol Superintendent Col. Richard Collins said. “Impaired driving is a crime that puts innocent people in danger, and all too frequently results in tragic consequences.”

Through the first three months of 2009, state troopers in Lawrence County have made 86 OVI arrests resulting in eight injury-related crashes and zero fatalities.