OVI Task Force effective, but running out of money

There was enough money to pay for 24 checkpoints in 2016; Next year, there's only enough for 17

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s been six years since the OVI Task Force started up in Mahoning County. In that time, the number of traffic deaths caused by alcohol have gone down by almost 20 percent.

However, the amount of money the Task Force has to pay for checkpoints is running out.

This year, there were 24 checkpoints. Next year, there’s only enough to pay for 17.

Saturation patrols will take a hit too.

Canfield Assistant Police Chief Scott Weamer said that even though it seems like there aren’t a lot of arrests connected to checkpoints, they make a big difference when it comes to fighting drunk driving.

“The real value with sobriety checkpoints isn’t how many people you arrest,” Weamer said. “It’s the education that goes with it. It’s getting the motoring public to make better decisions.”

The grant money will run out in 2018.

After that, it’s up to local departments to decide if they still want to pay for the checkpoints.