Fewer highway deaths, more OVI arrests this Thanksgiving

(FOX19) - Numbers released Monday by the Ohio State Highway Patrol show fewer motorists were killed on Ohio's roadways this Thanksgiving Holiday.

During the reporting period, which began Wednesday, Nov. 23, at midnight and ran through Sunday, November 27, at 11:59 p.m., 14 people were killed on Ohio's roadways. This is a decrease from the past two years when 18 people lost their lives in 2010 and 20 died in 2009. Additionally, this year's reporting period was longer as it included the entire day before Thanksgiving while last year's reporting began at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Impaired driving arrests increased more than 14 percent and drug arrests were up more than 37 percent when compared to last year's holiday. One incident that resulted in the seizure of an estimated $800,000 in cash began as a traffic stop on Thanksgiving Day on Interstate 70 in Preble County.

"We are encouraged by the reduction of fatalities and the increase in the arrests of criminals using our highways to carry out their crimes," said Colonel John Born, Patrol superintendent. "I hope that the success of this holiday weekend will continue throughout the remainder of the year."

Preliminary statistics from Kentucky State Police indicate that two people died in two separate crashes on Kentucky roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday enforcement period, which began at 6 p.m. Wednesday and continued through Sunday, Nov. 27 at 11:59 p.m. Last year in Kentucky, there were nine highway fatalities during the same time period.

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