How to drink and travel safe in Butler and Warren counties on New Year’s Eve

Agencies and bars are taking steps to curb impaired driving this holiday season.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging drivers who intend to celebrate the New Year’s holiday to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. The patrol’s zero-tolerance policy is part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign. The New Year’s holiday reporting period begins at midnight today and ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Gov. Mike DeWine said there are many options to get home safely and planning ahead is not only the smart thing to do, it’s the “right thing to do.”

Eleven fatal crashes killed 12 people during the four-day 2018-2019 New Year’s holiday reporting period in Ohio, according to statistics from the Ohio State Patrol. Seven of those crashes and fatalities were OVI related. Of the 9 fatalities in which safety belts were available, seven were unbelted.

During last year’s reporting period, from Dec. 28-Jan. 1, the OSP made 458 OVI arrests.

This year in Butler County there have been 20 fatal crashes, and four of them were OVI-related, a major drop from 2018 and 2017 when there were 14 OVI-related fatalities in the county.

In Warren County this year there have been 19 fatal crashes and seven were OVI-related, a slight increase from 2018 and 2017 when there were five each year.

OSP Col. Richard S. Fambro said the patrol takes impaired driving seriously and troopers will remain dedicated to enforcing Ohio’s OVI laws. The OSP reminds motorists to report impaired drivers and drug activity by calling #677.

Two Hamilton bars, Arches Saloon and Dayton Lane Pub, are offering free shuttle rides to and from their establishments within five miles on New Year’s Eve.

In Warren County, the Warren County Safe Communities Coalition is teaming up with local organizations to offer free or discounted safe rides home for New Year’s Eve.

The Monkey Bar & Grille of Maineville, the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, and Atrium Medical Center’s Level III Trauma Center, have donated Uber gift cards to help provide safe rides home for New Year’s Eve patrons at The Monkey Bar & Grille.

Members of coalition representing the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Hamilton Twp. Police and Atrium Medical Center will be at The Monkey Bar & Grille, 7837 Old 3C Highway in Maineville, from 7 to 10 p.m. today, to remind people to be responsible drinkers and drivers. Gift cards are available while supplies last to drivers who visit the coalition’s booth at the bar and restaurant.

“We want people to have fun this New Year’s Eve and remember to drink responsibly. Designate a sober driver before you leave, call a friend, call a taxi or use a mobile app like Uber,” said Ann Brock, coordinator for Warren County Safe Communities Coalition and trauma outreach coordinator for Atrium Medical Center.

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