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OVIs, crashes down over holiday

Highway patrol post increases presence

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers were out in full force across the state this past Memorial Day weekend, and Lawrence County was no exception.

Lt. Barry Call, commander of the Ironton post, said an increase in coverage by troopers led to 650 traffic stops. Of those stops, 439 required some type of enforcement action, Call said.

“There were 10 crashes and we removed eight impaired drivers from the roadways,” Call said.

Two of the crashes were alcohol-related and injuries were non-life-threatening, he said.

“Crashes were down, which is good, compared to last year,” Call said. “I think even OVIs were slightly down from last year.”

Call said while coverage is always increased during holiday weekends, he said his post has seen a boost in numbers recently.

“We’ve gotten several new people out of the academy in the past year and half,” he said, which brings the post’s total troopers to 15, with two sergeants, one lieutenant, as well as Call himself.

Although there were no fatalities on Lawrence County’s roadways this Memorial Day, statewide, there were 11 deaths. Four were motorcyclists and two were pedestrians.

This year’s fatalities are also down from the same weekend last year, as 16 fatalities occurred in 2015 and 13 occurred in 2014.

Statewide, the OSHP made 36,941 enforcement contacts in total, including 734 OVI arrests and 7,124 citations for safety belt violations. The four-day reporting period began Friday, May 27 and ran through Monday, May 30.

“Troopers were highly visible this weekend because of the heavy Memorial Day traffic, and we take enforcing traffic laws seriously,” said Col. Paul A. Pride, patrol superintendent. “We thank everyone who slowed down, buckled up and designated sober drivers this weekend. We ask that you do the same every time you get behind the wheel.”

In addition, the OSHP made 19,677 non-enforcement contacts, of which 4,625 were to assist motorists.