Zero OVI arrests in St. Patrick’s Day checkpoint

By Andrea Chaffin -

An OVI checkpoint held in West Jefferson Friday night netted zero arrests for driving under the influence.

During the two-hour checkpoint, 226 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, according to Lt. Jacob Pyles of the West Jefferson Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Three vehicles were diverted and one citation was issued for misdemeanor drug possession during the event held the evening of St. Patrick’s Day. A juvenile also was cited for a driver’s license violation.

However, saturation patrols used in conjunction with the sobriety checkpoint yielded two arrests for OVI.

Crash statistics for the past three years indicate there have been a total of 42 crashes in Madison County that involved impaired drivers within a three-mile radius of the checkpoint area. Two of those crashes resulted in a fatality. Other crashes include 17 injury crashes and 23 property damage crashes.

The checkpoint, held on U.S. 40 near State Route 142 in West Jefferson from 10 p.m. to midnight, was a combined effort by the patrol, West Jefferson Police Department and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

“Multi-agency sobriety checkpoints illustrate law enforcement agencies’ unified front in deterring and combating impaired driving,” according to a release. “The success of the checkpoint lies in law enforcement’s ability to raise awareness and provide a general deterrence to the motoring public. Awareness and education are the first line of defense against impaired driving.”

Madison County law enforcement agencies remind the motoring public to buckle up and do not drink and drive.

By Andrea Chaffin