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The BG News
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September 21, 2023

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Check point in effect Monday night for St. Patrick’s Day

Due to increased alcohol consumption on St. Patrick’s Day, an OVI checkpoint will be in effect Monday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wooster Street.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol announced the checkpoint on Monday, which is funded by federal grants provided through the Patrol’s Ohio Traffic Safety Office.

The checkpoint will target both Eastbound and Westbound traffic, said Lt. Jerrod Savidge of the State Highway Patrol’s Wood County post.

The Bowling Green Police Dept. is one of 99 local law enforcement agencies around the state participating in State Highway Patrol’s enforcement on Monday.

While the checkpoint will be operated by State Highway Patrol, BG police will be there assisting with “manpower,” said Maj. Tony Hetrick of the Bowling Green Division.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Office will also provide manpower, and the University Police Department will provide a parking lot (lot Q) for officers to pull drivers into, Savidge said.

The checkpoint is a way to deter driving while intoxicated and prevent injuries and crashes as a result of alcohol consumption. Officers will also be on the lookout for other illegal activity such as drugs or driving without a license, Hetrick said.

“If they’re driving drunk tonight, they’re going to get arrested and they’re going to go to jail,” Hetrick said. “It’s not worth it.”

No one was killed in a traffic crash in Ohio on St. Patrick’s Day last year, the first time that this has occurred in at least the last five years, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol press release.

Hetrick advised those celebrating the holiday to designate a driver. Motorists are encouraged to call 677 to report drug activity or impaired drivers.

Further, the Wood County Safe Communities, a coalition sponsored by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, is providing celebrators with a free ride home from the bars Monday night, Hetrick said.

Those in need of a transport need only call 419-819-5315. All bars downtown also have the number available for patrons, Hetrick said.

“There’s quite a lot of opportunities to get home safely,” Hetrick said. “There’s really no excuse.”

The State Highway Patrol doesn’t typically organize a checkpoint this early in the year, Savidge said.

“We wanted to kick the year off right,” he said.

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