Grant gives Mahoning County officers more money for OVI checkpoints

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – You can expect more OVI checkpoints and saturation patrols over the next 12 months due to another round of federal funding.

The Mahoning County OVI Task Force announced Thursday that they’ve received $112,000 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Through the use of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, police say they’ve cut down the numbers of crashes and fatalities involving alcohol.

“How we accomplish that is through education, first and foremost. It’s really our biggest priority, and then also, enforcement. Obviously, these people need to be accountable. There are consequences to our actions,” said Canfield Assistant Police Chief Scott Weimer.

Weimer said their work isn’t one, however.

“In 2016, there were seven alcohol-related fatal crashes. So far this year, in 2017, there are six alcohol-related fatal crashes in Mahoning County,” he said. “One fatal crash is one too many, so we still have work to do.”

This year’s funding, although reduced from last year’s amount, will still help pay for a dozen checkpoints throughout the county.

Last year, more than 10,000 vehicles were stopped by OVI patrols, taking nearly 80 impaired drivers off the road and catching another 170 who were driving with suspended licenses.