DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – While the holiday season is a time to gather with friends and family and celebrate, Ohio State Highway Patrol leaders are pleading with people to use caution when drinking and driving.

“If you’re gonna take out you know, be on the roadways, have a good time, celebrate the new year we just want to remind drivers to you know have a plan in place to find a ride home or just find a sober driver,” said OSHP Sergeant Ryan Purpura. 

According to OSHP statistics from 2020, last year’s holiday season in Montgomery County saw 137 crashes, 7 of which related to operating vehicles while impaired, and 3 resulting in serious injury.

Sgt. Purpura says although no one was killed last year, he hopes this year the numbers of crashes are less. “You know I don’t wanna speculate how it will be this year, this is where we will have troopers out there. We will have troopers out there looking for impaired drivers. We’ll be highly visible. We’ll also have federal grants going on to look for those impaired drivers.” 

While Sgt. Purpura and other OSHP troopers will be out on the roads, they also encourage drivers to be on the lookout for drunk drivers. 

“You know sometimes with a drunk driver, you know, you might see the person in front of you might be weaving, crossing over the dash line, solid line of the road,” he said. “It could be slow speed, it could be speeding. It could be a variety of things.” 

For those who see something, Sgt. Purpura encourages them to contact authorities. “Be prepared to tell a dispatcher where your location is, what the vehicle’s doing. We want you to be as descriptive as possible. Try to grab that license place so we can try to get a trooper out there, try to get that person stopped, so we can avoid any tragedy from occurring on the roads.” 

Sgt. Purpura says this year, he’s pleading with drivers to know their limits, and has advice for people out on the roads. “There’s nothing wrong with going out there and having a good time around the holidays. We just encourage people not to drive impaired.”