CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – As the midnight hour draws near, state troopers and local police will be out looking for those who may have been celebrating too much.
“And of course, as you can expect, we have zero-tolerance on impaired driving,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Brian Holt.
At this time last year, the state patrol recorded 14 fatal crashes statewide, 10 of them involving impaired driving with another six pedestrians killed by drunk drivers.
Just last weekend, over the Christmas holiday period, troopers arrested more than 160 impaired drivers — a 12 percent increase over 2020.
But even if you’re not under the influence, you could still get pulled over.
“A lot of people do get stopped for failing to drive in marked lanes, or left of center, even speeding, whatever, simply because they’re not paying attention to what they’re doing,” Sgt. Holt said.
In the meantime, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is issuing a new warning.
“The dangers of drinking don’t end just because you went to sleep,” said Jim Garrity, of AAA.
Garrity said driving hungover can be just as bad as when you’re drinking, saying common symptoms of a painful headache and blurred vision can linger long after the alcohol has left your system.
“These are things that you wouldn’t want to be behind the wheel with at all, because they’re distracting, and they’re gonna take your attention away and make you a less safe driver,” he said.
Garrity said the best advice is to use a designated driver.
“So make that plan before you go out, not when you’re out, you know. Don’t go out and say, ‘I’ll figure it out later,'” he said
Otherwise, the alternative could be much worse.
“If you are impaired, they will take enforcement action, and it will be a bad start to the new year,” Sgt. Holt said.