Remember to celebrate responsibly; County officials encourage residents not to drink and drive


By Jordan Green

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MIAMI COUNTY — The Cincinnati Bengals have made it to their first Super Bowl in 33 years. This is a cause for celebration among many Ohioans and sports fans alike. However, with great celebration comes great responsibility. Driving is already one of the most dangerous activities people do daily. Add a few drinks in, and it can become deadly.

Alcohol impaired driving killed eight people last year in Miami County alone.

“These deaths were 100% avoidable. By making the right decision, we can prevent crashes and fatalities due to drunk driving,” said Miami County Health Educator and Safe Communities Coordinator Vicky Knisley-Henry. You don’t have to be drunk to be a risk to yourself or others. “Buzzed driving is drunk driving, if you feel different you drive different,” said Knisley-Henry.

If you decide to go out and drink this Sunday, have a plan to get home safely. Here are a few tips from Knisley-Henry and Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak to help you stay safe:

• Designate a sober driver to provide transportation;

• Use ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft;

• If you are hosting a party, take the keys of those who drink and provide them with a place to stay or an alternative, safe way to get home;

• Additionally, if you are hosting, offer non-alcoholic beverages to those who do not wish to drink; and,

• Be sure to not provide alcohol to those under the age of 21.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol will be out in full force to catch impaired drivers. Last year, 59 arrests were made from 6 a.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday on the day of the Super Bowl, per a press release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. During that same period, there were two deaths resulting from OVIs and 35 OVI-related injuries.

To protect citizens, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office will have extra deputies out on patrol Sunday night, paid for, in large part, by a grant through the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. These deputies will be placing an emphasis on traffic violations and spotting impaired drivers.

This Sunday will be a memorable day for Ohioans, but it doesn’t need to be a dangerous day too. Stay safe, drink responsibly, and have a plan to get home safely.

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