CIRCLEVILLE — The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and Circleville Police Department came together over the New Year’s holiday to combat impaired driving.

Their “blitz” resulted in 191 traffic stops that resulted in 88 enforcement contacts, 15 OVI arrests, 10 seat belt citations, 95 traffic warnings, 25 equipment defects issued, six felony arrests, two misdemeanor arrests, and three distracted driving citations.

Lt. Robert Sellers, commander of the Circleville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said they know people are going to be out celebrating and what comes with that.

“We always know what can happen, so anytime around the holidays and especially New Year’s, people have a lot of parties to go to,” Sellers said.

“People will be celebrating and a lot of times, that involves alcohol and potentially bad choices. So we really concentrate on detecting those impaired drivers. Along with that is making sure people got to where they needed to go safely.”

Sellers said they had more troopers out all weekend to help watch over the increased holiday traffic.

“We had additional patrols that were staffed with federal grant overtime to put extra troopers on the road,” Sellers said.

“There are a lot of people on the road and a lot of troopers on the road and we were looking to make sure everyone got where they were going safely.”

Sellers said the good weather, minus one day, contributed to it.

“Better weather means more people on the roads,” he added.

Across Ohio, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting 10 deaths on Ohio’s roadways during the 2021-2022 New Year’s holiday, according to provisional statistics.

Four fatalities were the result of not wearing a safety belt when available, three were OVI-related and five were pedestrians. The four-day reporting period began at midnight on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 and ran through 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2022. This is a decrease from the four-day reporting period last year, when 14 fatalities were reported.

Troopers made 2,575 traffic enforcement contacts across the state, including 229 OVI arrests, 59 distracted driving and 288 safety belt citations.

The public is encouraged to continue using #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity. A statistical analysis of the patrol’s enforcement activity over the holiday is available at https://statepatrol.ohio.gov/links/NewYearHoliday2022_PIO.pdf.

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