July 23, 2016

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Easter weekend sobriety checkpoint to be held on U.S. Route 42

MEDINA — The Easter weekend sobriety checkpoint will be held tonight from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on U.S. Route 42, also known as Lafayette Road, just north of Baxter Street in Medina.

That location was chosen because nine OVI-related crashes occurred near that area between 2012 and 2013, the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported.

“If you plan to consume alcohol, designate a driver or make other travel arrangements before you drink,” a press release read. “Don’t let another life be lost for the senseless and selfish act of getting behind the wheel impaired.”

Checkpoints of this kind are funded by federal grants and are designed to deter and intercept impaired drivers.

According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, police are required to announce the time and location of sobriety checkpoints in order to avoid violating Fourth Amendment search and seizure laws. Members of the Medina County OVI Task Force have said the goal of such checkpoints is to deter driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not to make a ton of arrests.

So far this year, Medina County has seen three fatal crashes — two of which are suspected to be related to drugs or alcohol, according to the State Highway Patrol.

“State troopers make on average 25,000 OVI arrests each year in an attempt to combat these dangerous drivers,” said Lt. Bill Haymaker, commander of the patrol’s Medina post. “OVI checkpoints are designed to not only deter impaired driving, but to proactively remove these dangerous drivers from our roadways.”

Tonight’s checkpoint is the second this year. Twenty more are planned throughout the year.

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